So if Smith loses his job to a rookie, then said rookie (who is actually young, with 14 games played in the NHL) falters and loses the job, it somehow makes Smith better? That's not even logical. Also, coaches don't sit people to send messages going into the playoffs. Coaches sit people to send messages in the middle of the season. Babcock isn't sending a message. He's playing Marchenko over Smith because Marchenko gives us a better chance to win than Smith does.
Any minute now, Smith is going to breakout. Just you wait and see. He just needs the proper motivation and usage. That's all.
After Babs "sends him a message", he'll be a stud. But only if he never has to play defense, gets 20 minutes a night, and powerplay time.
But boy will you be eating crow once that happens!