The Malik Report
by George Malik on 05/29/13 at 01:43 PM ET
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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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.