The Malik Report
by Paul on 09/19/13 at 03:29 PM ET
from Bill Roose of DetroitRedWings.com,
Brendan Smith entered his ‘full’ NHL season with a reputation for being an offensive defenseman, but the Red Wings would like for him to modify his game.
Red Wings coach Mike Babcock has instructed Smith to be more responsible on defense and less offensive-minded, which often times led to turnovers last season.
“Be a real good defender, a real good penalty-killer, a real good puck guy, who moves the puck quickly,” Babcock said. “The offensive stuff will look after itself, but less plays where you force something. Just play simple.”
More than three years ago, Smith was the talk of a college hockey world infatuated with his offensive acumen. In his third and final season at the University of Wisconsin, Smith was the only defenseman to finish among the nation’s top 65 scorers. His 52 points, which included 15 goals, ranked him No. 9 in the country and put him in the running for the Hobey Baker Award that year.
The adjustment will take some getting used to, Smith said.
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