Smith is an offensive defensman; I think we can all see that in his game. I agree with Kip though, that Babs cares about defense before offense, so Smith needs to learn to take care of things on the defensive side of the puck, and adapt his offensive game without sacrificing scoring opportunities against us. He's getting better every week at this. Last year most of LGW wanted him off the team, earlier this year more folks started believing that he could be solid for us, and now we have a thread dedicated to "the real Brendan Smith" finally showing up. I still believe he has a ways to go, and ultimately see him being the Brian Rafalski that we've been missing in a couple years. Time will tell if he reaches that potential or not, but he's trending in the right direction.
I also think that "he is trending in the right direction", and I think that is a good way to phrase it. I think that with his skills, at all lower levels of hockey that he has played until the NHL, he thought of himself as somewhat of a badass - a hockey player being like a gunslinger that hasn't met his match to date. He was always mostly a big fish in a small pond, but now, he can't out maneuver the opposition based on his above average physical skills alone (skating, stick handling, etc).
The complete opposite was Nick Lidstrom, who despite a laser slapshot, relied mostly on smarts, and I think that we can all agree that he flourished this way. He wasn't Coffey fast, Weber physical, etc., but his positioning and anticipation were superhuman, and hopefully, Mr. Smith will take some of that to heart one day soon, and combine his God-given abilities with intelligent hockey. I think you can tell from interviews that he is not just plain dumb, so it must be that he still hasn't accepted the fact that the skills that allowed him to dominate at lower levels are not so unusual in the pro game. I think that (hopefully) if and when he ever catches on and buys into the program, watch out!
- Dabura likes this