Smith hasn't shown any flashes of brilliance his whole NHL career up til now. So much hype and he plays like a taller Lebda at best. Painful watching him play in the top 4
His whole NHL career to date has been 53 games spread over 2 seasons.
I expected him to progress more than he has, but it's too early to give up on him. He's still having positional problems at the NHL level but he's getting more physical and more confident in his offense.
That was Smith who made the nice stretch pass to Brunner catching the Ducks on a line change. I'd call that a flash of brilliance. Or at least Rafalski-like.
But that's because the Norris Trophy is for the defenceman who has "demonstrated the greatest all-around ability" at the position. Hence why defensive defencemen like Derian Hatcher and Scott Stevens never won it.
That said, its a pretty paltry list this year. Would lol hard though if Subban wins it after all the frothing at the mouth in some parts when there was speculation earlier in the season that we could trade for him
But on the flipside Karlsson just won it and he doesn't have the greatest all around ability at the position either. He's an amazing offensive defenseman but still has to develop his game in the defensive end.
Last nights game was more evidence of Karlsson's suspect decision making. After the game Maclean made comments about how they'd go over the mistakes Karlsson made and talk to him, and that sometimes he plays for the other team, but when he plays for their team he makes them better.
Stevens actually used to be more of an offensive defenseman. He has the skillset, they just reigned that in in Jersey under Lemaire's system.