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Brendan Smith compliments the Hawks’ competition level…And his own…I think…

I agree with Fox Sports Detroit's Dana Wakiji's suggestion that Wings fans need not deem Brendan Smith to be the next Jonathan "Shitbox" Ericsson (who, as it turns out, has developed into a pretty solid defenseman, even if it was three or four years later than people like you and me had hoped), but Kyle Quincey's mentee has been on the ice for...Well, the Detroit News's John Niyo says a stunning 16 goals against during the Wings' playoff run and 7 of the 12 (or 7 of 14 if you add the Hawks' penalty shot and empty-netter as goals against) that the Blackhawks have scored in this series.

Smith made some comments to the Chicago Sun-Times' Mark Potash about his opponent's ability to rally from a 3-1 deficit, as well as his own ability to rebound from his defensive gaffes, that are either quite wise...Or are reminders that the Gamblin' Man still lives on his own planet from time to time. If not both.

"When their backs are against the wall, they push even harder. It's pretty impressive to see that,'' Smith said Wednesday after the Red Wings' morning skate at the United Center. ''A lot of those skill guys actually got a little chippy and try to work a little bit harder and fought battles a little bit more. It's impressive to see the competition level bump up that much more.''

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville often talks about his team's compete level. All coaches refer to it in some manner. But Smith provided an on-the-ice insight into what that really means. He knew the Hawks were competitors, but they were even more competitive than he ever thought.

''I've been saying that, but every game it gets even higher and it's something that I can learn from,'' Smith said. ''I think I'm a very competitive guy. Coach always says I'm ultra competitive. I think that's just how I grew up with my brothers and stuff. I think there's still more for me to even compete at.

''You see it out here. Some of these guys that [people] say aren't competitive and their give-a-[bleep] meter is really low, you see them come out and they play really tough. I don't think I've seen guys like [Patrick] Kane and [Patrick] Sharp play as hard as I have other than this series. It's pretty cool to see and cool to see their game evolve like that."

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Dakkster's avatar

You have no idea how much it warms my heart to see “competition level” instead of “compete level” smile

Posted by Dakkster from Southern Sweden on 05/29/13 at 03:06 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

sooo Dakkster, what if I said “compete level on specialty teams?”

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 05/29/13 at 03:38 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

I think there’s still more for me to even compete at.

That right there is the definition of an understatement.

It’s pretty cool to see and cool to see their game evolve like that.

So Brendan thinks it’s “pretty cool” to see the way the Hawks’ game has evolved. Well, isn’t that just precious.

If he spent a little more time taking care of the puck in his own end instead of admiring the way the Hawks play, maybe he wouldn’t turn the damn thing over half a dozen times every game.

I get what he’s trying to say, but now is not the time to be “admiring” the competition. Now is the time to be gettin’ his “hate” on for those a-holes.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 05/29/13 at 04:09 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

Smith didn’t say anything wrong. Mark Potash just believes that any compliment thrown the Hawks way is done so in a manner in which the person(s) giving the compliment are as deathly in love with the BlackHawks as they are.

C’mon, this is a media market that finds Edzo informative and thought-provoking.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie, MI on 05/29/13 at 04:17 PM ET

Dakkster's avatar

PaulinMiamiBeach: Stop trying to make my head explode, please.

Posted by Dakkster from Southern Sweden on 05/29/13 at 04:39 PM ET


BTW, what happened to Bertuzzi?  I don’t see him mentioned anywhere at all.

Posted by neffernin on 05/29/13 at 06:39 PM ET


I wish they’d scratch Smith for White.

Posted by zombietroy on 05/29/13 at 06:50 PM ET


I read it differently.  I actually think he’s giving them a backhanded compliment saying that they’re soft players.  He’s saying in affect “they’re known as retards so I am happy to see that they can tie their shoes”. I don’t think it was complimenting tem as much as making fun of them.  At least. That’s the way ill take it.

Posted by bababooey on 05/29/13 at 07:13 PM ET

w2j2's avatar

In any other year Smith would not be on the ice in the playoffs.
He is not ready.

Posted by w2j2 on 05/29/13 at 11:52 PM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.