Posted by kipwinger
on 05 February 2016 - 02:00 PM
I've really soured on anyone who can't get the puck and do something with it. I don't care how many shots you block or how gritty you are. If you don't possess the puck you suck in the modern game. What good are you doing if you block a shot or break up a pass and the give the puck back to the other team for another try? Our WORST possession forwards are on the pk. How do you clear the puck if you can't get it from the other team?
Ugh. I can't believe I'm about to defend Brendan Smith.
First, bottom pair defensemen (and bottom 6 forwards) are almost NEVER the reason for a bad season. The difference in quality between our bottom pair and that of...say...Washington, is marginal. If we don't make the playoffs this year it will be because none of our high end players (aside from Larkin) was comparably better than their counterparts on more successful teams. None of Dats, Z, Tatar, Nyquist, Kronwall, Green, etc. have been as good as they should be.
Secondly, Smith's handpass from the bench. I'm tired of hearing about it. For two years prior to that play, I'd been regularly pointing out that Smith just wasn't very good, and was almost UNIVERSALLY met with opposition. Smith could blow coverages, turn the puck over in the d-zone, make bad pinches, or take untimely penalties and the chorus was generally, "Smitty's good. He's dynamic because of his skating. He's the only guy that will drop the gloves". People loved that dope...inexplicably. Then the handpass happened and all the same people who loved him before, started s***ting on him. But that wasn't his low point. His low point was the previous two years when he regularly sucked and everybody said "Smith's playing pretty good right now, maybe our best defenseman".
Now Smith IS playing pretty good. He's rounding out his game in a way I NEVER thought he would. And people are still talking about that handpass. It was dumb. I agree. But it's far from the worst thing he's done on the ice (not that anybody had bothered to notice before). And he's far from the player he was when he did it. So can we all get back to bitching about Ericsson already?
Its easy to understand, Smiths most recent screw up led to a goal. That tends to stick in peoples minds if you end up losing the game. But overall he's been pretty good as of late. Definitely not our biggest concern.