I agree that Smith hasn't been very good. But I'm guessing a lot of teams would love for the Wings to dump him for nothing.
Smith is playing over 19 minutes a night, third among Dmen behind Kronwall and Ericsson. And now doing it against the best team in the league. He's getting exposed for the rookie he is.
Imagine if the Wings had played Kindl or Ericsson like that. They had the benefit of a better blueline so they could play lower pressure bottom pairing minutes. Smith is getting thrown in the deep end.
It's painful to watch, but this is the team we have right now. It's trial by fire.
Hes their Osgood. Put him on a team that isn't as dominate, I think hes a middle tier goalie, but, with their team in front of him he doesn't really have to steal games, just make a few big saves, and then be solid and they do the rest.
I am not at all suprised how Chicago played, they were fast, made great passes, put the pressure on our d and made us look bad, this is exactly how they played for 48 games. They are a very good squad. They played good, did the things they wanted and we played pretty bad. Bad combo. We will get better...Need to limit turnovers and shoot the puck alot more. We need 4 of our best games to beat these guys.
If I play the lottery and don't win, I don't need to go through hours of heartache and analysis. I don't need an academic study to explain why I didn't win.
The problem with having the sort of history that the Wings do is that you're never going to sneak up on anyone. And they didn't yesterday. But this is still a series. Maybe the Hawks get a bit complacent in game 2. It's not the Wings' job over the next 24-48 hours to figure out how to be better than Chicago. It's their job to make sure they're ready to capitalize in case they get an opening - for whatever reason (Chicago complacency, fortunate bounce, whatever).
A game 2 win isn't impossible, and that at least makes it a best of 5, with 3 at home...
Feeling okay today. Expecting a game 1 victory on away ice (and to that degree...Chicago in the UC) against the President's Trophy winners was a very, very tall order. Our job is to split and get back to the Joe.
For my captain obvious statement of the day: Not the single reason we lost last night, but I do believe we lost our legs in the late 2nd and 3rd. IMO..there is no doubt the boys went out in Anaheim and have a few "pops" after the game 7 win. Jimmy even eluded to this fact (with a wry smile) in post game interview. Next day, long flight back to the D. Players go home and scramble to make up quality time with family/friends for a half day since they've virtually been preoccupied for the last two weeks with beating the Ducks. Next day, onto Chicago and flight to windy city and back in a hotel room. Players bodies probably still adjusting to not being on PST time. It got to them. Ran on adrenaline for the first half of the game, then nothing. It happens. That's why playing the in West has/had been such a disadvantage to us.
One other observation: I can't stand the light feather chip pass/shot when we are trying desperately to clear our own zone. We do this A LOT! When guys have been on the ice for 50 seconds and are dead tired, and the other team is all over us (I mean hornets nest ALL OVER US!) , we go for the soft chip up the boards. I don't get it?? In those situations, you have to hard around or hard out, and take the icing if it happens. I know we can't change lines in that case, but at the very least you'll get a 30 second breather to regroup. Last night the Hawks had two forwards standing atop at blue line, just waiting to intercept these attempts. They'd prevent our clearing attempt, long pass along blue line to other side of ice, and their in business with a good set up. It drives me crazy!!!!
Lastly, Quincy needs to sit. His transition game in our own zone is slow, predictable, and pathetic. Just bad.
Our job is to split and get back home. Let's do this.