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Smith Out Tonight

Changes coming to Detroit's blueline tonight as Brendan Smith will sit.

 

 

added 1:34pm (Paul), Smith not sure why he is not playing..

from Chuck Pleiness of Red Wings Front,

Smith is a minus-4 through four games this season and has yet to register a point.

“There’s always things to improve but I don’t know what I need to do to get myself back in the lineup,” said Smith, who added he was never told why he was being sat. “I’m just going to keep plugging away. I am a minus-4 but if you watch those goals, I don’t think there’s a breakdown on my side. It is what it is. I’m just going to keep plugging away.”

Brian Lashoff will replace Smith on the blue line.

Smith was one the ice for a number of Phoenix’s odd-man rushes in Thursday’s 4-2 loss to the Coyotes.

“Last game I got caught twice and that definitely could have been the reason (why I’m) not in the lineup,” Smith said. “(Kyle) Quincey backed me up and saved me there but that happens all over the game where we’re backing guys up. I guess that game (he wasn’t good), I think I’ve been good in the other games, so I don’t know.”

Smith was a minus-2 in the game.

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Comments

Paul's avatar

Hey, how did some of you get the dressing room?

Krupa tweet,

asked about tatar, babcock said, you mean why is a guy who scores goals not in when we need goals? “good question.” and he left it there.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 10/12/13 at 11:29 AM ET

DocF's avatar

I am not sure that Lashoff is an improvement over Smith, but sitting Brendan may get a message through to him.  He needs to be responsible first and effective when he does move up.

Regarding Tatar, I have no clue why the stubborn mule coach refuses to play him on one of the scoring lines, which are not scoring.  So far, Babcock has done a hideous job of coaching.

Posted by DocF from Now: Lynn Haven, FL; was Reidsville, NC on 10/12/13 at 12:09 PM ET

Alzy's avatar

So it’s what, Tatar isn’t responsible enough defensively and that’s why he’s sitting? Or is Babcock gonna finally give him a fair shake?

I just don’t get it. He put Homer out there all the time with Z and Dangle, and it’s not like Homer was ever a defensive stalwart. Tatar is a way better skater and from what I’ve seen/read about, at least competent defensively. And putting him with two high-skill, elite playmakers like that should would be the best utilization of a “guy who scores goals.”

At least Glendening should get a fair chance, since Babcock already likes him.

Let’s Go Red Wings (exclamation point)

Posted by Alzy from Cambridge, Ontario, Canada on 10/12/13 at 12:11 PM ET

Primis's avatar

We’ve been discussing the Babcock/Tatar comment on Twitter.

It read to a lot of us like Babcock WANTS to play Tatar but something or someone else is preventing him from doing so.  Most lik’tely someone named Ken Holland, who wants Babcock to “showcase” players for trades (that may never come) to fix what Holland broke by signing 328982308432809 forwards they didn’t need in the first place.

Ans as JJ noted, it also could be Babcock doesn’t like Tatar’s practice attitude or something.  But it sure doesn’t read that way, with the way Babcock worded it.

You guys should know by now I’m not a huge Babcock fan but…  for me at least, and some others, that quote is Babcock washing his hands of the situation as delicately as he can.  I don’t think it’s Babcock holding Tatar out.

Posted by Primis on 10/12/13 at 12:28 PM ET

Avatar

It read to a lot of us like Babcock WANTS to play Tatar but something or someone else is preventing him from doing so.

That’s pretty obvious.  The part that is much less so is where you leap to the presumption that it must be Holland ‘preventing’ Babcock from using Tatar.

You guys know that’s not how that works, right?  Holland doesn’t call down and tell Babcock which guys to dress and which to sit.  If Holland wanted to ‘prevent’ Babcock from using Tatar, he’d have just kept him in GR.

It would be really really stupid to have the guy up and then tell Babcock not to use him, even presuming for the moment stuff like that happens in the first place.

Seems to me like Babcock is launching a mid-tier cruise missile right at Tatar here.

You guys should know by now I’m not a huge Babcock fan

Yeah, wow.  He’s only one of the four or five best coaches in the NHL.  Why like him?

Posted by HockeyinHD on 10/12/13 at 01:31 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

Ans as JJ noted, it also could be Babcock doesn’t like Tatar’s practice attitude or something.

I heard something like that last year from someone close to the Griffins. Gonna’ leave it there, though, so as not to spread unfounded rumors. But if I had to surmise from what I was told, and add Babs comment in, I’d say Holland is not a fan of Tatar off the ice, and as such will not reward him with ice time with the big club.

Other than that,it is nice seeing Babs make moves quickly, and not waiting fifteen games to pull the trigger on some changes.

 

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 10/12/13 at 01:36 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

It would be really really stupid to have the guy up and then tell Babcock not to use him

Not necessarily.

You know how Holland is a big proponent of the Red Wings Way. Maybe he has Tatar up so he can let him see the Wings leadership, and how he should conduct himself on and off the ice.

There’s more to developing a player than just enhancing on-ice skills, as we all know.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 10/12/13 at 01:39 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

“There’s always things to improve but I don’t know what I need to do to get myself back in the lineup,” said Smith,

Wait…WHAT?????????????????

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 10/12/13 at 01:42 PM ET

SolidTG7's avatar

In the immortal words of Allen Iverson : Practice?  We talking bout practice?

Seems to me whatever practice habits there are might not be that great after 4 days worth produced that awful game on Thursday.

Posted by SolidTG7 on 10/12/13 at 01:44 PM ET

Avatar

You guys know that’s not how that works, right?  Holland doesn’t call down and tell Babcock which guys to dress and which to sit.  If Holland wanted to ‘prevent’ Babcock from using Tatar, he’d have just kept him in GR.


Can’t “keep him in GR”. He had to clear waivers.

Posted by borq646 from South Lyon, MI on 10/12/13 at 01:44 PM ET

Primis's avatar

I have a hard time believing it’s “habits” holding Tatar back when the on-ice “habits” of guys like Samuelsson, Quincey, and Smith are so awful.

If it is, and Tatar is being singled out, then Babcock needs to be lit on fire for being a supreme hypocrite and playing Filppula all last season, etc.  And we’ve heard PLENTY about Smith’s approach to things, and seen that Babcock has still dressed him.

I don’t think it is that though.  It really does sound like Babcock would dress Tatar if he could, and like it pains him that he can’t.

Posted by Primis on 10/12/13 at 01:57 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

This is why I’m so pissed at the diggers for not following up.  I was trying to brainstorm ideas that make sense.  The two I keep coming to are “showcasing guys for trades” and “doesn’t like Tatar.”

There’s reason to believe either of those things.

I’m rooting for it to be the showcasing idea simply because I like that one more.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 10/12/13 at 01:59 PM ET

SolidTG7's avatar

I tend to agree Primis, that statement reads to me more like there is another factor here.  What that is, I have no idea, I really hope it’s not that loyalty to veterans crap.  The only veteran thing about some of those guys is that you have an honest to goodness history of their ineffectiveness.  Not sure how passing younger guys could be worse than nothing.

Posted by SolidTG7 on 10/12/13 at 02:02 PM ET

SolidTG7's avatar

^Passing = playing

Posted by SolidTG7 on 10/12/13 at 02:04 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

So far, Babcock has done a hideous job of coaching.
Posted by DocF from Reidsville, NC on 10/12/13 at 12:09 PM ET

Maybe we should read between the lines. 

Oops looks like others have already done that.

Then it could be Babcock being Babcock and questioning himself publicly.

Posted by RWBill from the open bar on The Hasek. on 10/12/13 at 02:08 PM ET

Avatar

Smith out tonight

This just made my day!  I’ll wait patiently for the next one to say “Smith and Samuelsson…no longer Red Wings.  Nyquist recalled; skating on third line with Andersson and Tatar.”

Shall I keep dreaming?

Posted by chrispiannt on 10/12/13 at 02:12 PM ET

Tracy from T-Town Hockey 's avatar

Babcock has always used the press to get his point across to players, which leads me to believe it is being directed towards Tatar and not Holland.  Perhaps someone should ask Tatar what he needs to do to get into the line up.

Posted by Tracy from T-Town Hockey on 10/12/13 at 02:19 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

I am not sure that Lashoff is an improvement over Smith, but sitting Brendan may get a message through to him.  He needs to be responsible first and effective when he does move up.

Posted by DocF from Reidsville, NC on 10/12/13 at 12:09 PM ET

Its not possible to penetrate that massive ego with a message.  Smith is absolutely delusional when it comes to taking responsibility for his horrendous play.

Posted by Hootinani on 10/12/13 at 02:36 PM ET

Avatar

Not sure I like Smith saying there weren’t any breakdowns by him. That’s essentially blaming other players. Unless he was looking at the video as he said it (and he could still be dead wrong), he should shut his mouth.

I don’t know why, but we need to play these spare parts (the Tootoos and Samuelsson’s) before we can just ship them off. Babcock knows its only a matter of time before we get Nyquist and Tatar back in full time, but we have roster problems to deal with first.

Posted by CrimsonPhoenix on 10/12/13 at 03:15 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

am a minus-4 but if you watch those goals, I don’t think there’s a breakdown on my side.

Well let’s see

Smith’s on-ice goals against so far:
Buffalo: Jimmy Howard turns the puck over while Smith is waiting in the corner to be an outlet option for him and Zemgus Girgensons finds himself wide open.  Smith would have to be psychic to see this coming and be in position to prevent this goal.

Carolina: Smith pinches on Skinner at the blue line on what is a 3-on-2 rush for the Canes (because Bertuzzi and Cleary miscommunicate and Andersson turns it over at the half-boards). Skinner’s pass is perfect into no-man’s land, but Smith’s coverage here is not correct. He turns a 3-on-2 into a 2-on-1, which isn’t the right play. Quincey, Howard, and the forwards also share blame, but Smith made the wrong coverage.

Boston: The Bruin’s 4th goal was that Chara PP marker. Smith gets hung out to dry on a shitty turnover. This one really isn’t on him (and it’s not a minus anyway since it’s PP).

Phoenix:
Goal 1: Weiss loses a faceoff very cleanly and Smith picks up his man. He’s not screening the goal when the slapshot finds its way through Howard. Not his fault at all.
Goal 2: Quincey lets Doan get behind him, which creates a tough in-zone pressure. Smith gets a puck and wisely rings it up the boards. Unfortunately, Franzen isn’t in position and the puck is turned over. Smith is tying up with his man up front when the shot from the point is deflected to the open man for the easy goal.  This one is kind of Smith’s fault, but I’d rather he trust his teammates are going to be in position because the decision he made which directly led to the goal is one that he should have made.

So Smith is a little wrong on the “I was doing the right thing” stuff.  If he hasn’t been coached on what specifically he should have done differently (or he’s been coached differently than I’ve seen it), then he’s right in that it’s not his coverage (and there’s a bigger problem at hand because the Carolina decision was absolutely the wrong one).

Overall, he hasn’t been good at handling the puck and he should probably know why.  Either Babs isn’t coaching him or he’s not listening because it’s not really a secret that he hasn’t been good enough.

 

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 10/12/13 at 03:48 PM ET

Slumpy's avatar

No hartnell or vinny tonight so playing bangers like Toots and Glendening is prudent. Most likely we will see a few fights and Wings 10-1 win over those clowns.
Smith isn’t playing physical enough on D nor contributing offensively enough to warrant him playing, plain and simple. He needs to wake up and put on a clint eastwood scowl. He’s an NHL defenseman not a dancing with the stars fruit. Lose the limp attitude.
Tatar doesn’t need to play against these animals tonight. Rinaldo would probably try to bite his ear off or something.

vampire

Posted by Slumpy from Detroit on 10/12/13 at 04:01 PM ET

DocF's avatar

JJ, you went to a lot of effort to analyze Smith’s minus 4.  I appreciate the effort.  I also am inclined to agree Hootinani about Smith and his current high opinion of himself.  That opinion will stand him in good stead if he can learn to be more coachable.

Who is it who is coaching the blue line?  He needs to step up his performance as much as the players.

Posted by DocF from Now: Lynn Haven, FL; was Reidsville, NC on 10/12/13 at 04:09 PM ET

w2j2's avatar

I have yet to see Smith measure up to all the golden predictions about him. 
He has lots of talent, but rocks between his ears.
...Let Lashoff play. 

Babcock MUST find a way to get Tatar into the lineup.

Posted by w2j2 on 10/12/13 at 04:18 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

JJ, you went to a lot of effort to analyze Smith’s minus 4.  I appreciate the effort.

Eh, it was work I had already done. I just had to copy-and-paste it really.

Smith still does a decent amount of smart plays every game, but he’s got to cut down significantly on the dumb stuff and potentially get a little bit more sure about his physicality in the defensive zone.

He’ll be fine eventually, but he does need to take tours through the Leino Lounge throughout the season to give him the perspective he needs to figure it out.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 10/12/13 at 04:24 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

I don’t think looking at goals against is the right approach.  It seems like there have been a disproportionate number if quality chances against he and Quincey.  Those aren’t as obvious because there’s not a red light flashing but if they happen over and over then eventually there will be, right?

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 10/12/13 at 08:20 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

I am not sure that Lashoff is an improvement over Smith, but sitting Brendan may get a message through to him.

Posted by DocF from Reidsville, NC

And based on Lash’s play on Saturday, if Smith doesn’t get the message, he’s an idiot.

I have yet to see Smith measure up to all the golden predictions about him.
He has lots of talent, but rocks between his ears.

Posted by w2j2 on 10/12/13 at 04:18 PM ET

And that, right there, pretty much sums it up where Smith is concerned. Can he change/grow? Maybe. But I wouldn’t give him more than another 30 games or so to prove it. After that, he can take his $1.262M contract somewhere else and let Lashoff and Almquist/Oulette/Sproul compete for his spot (at a cap-hit savings of about 600k per year).

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 10/13/13 at 01:04 AM 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.