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Abel to Yzerman

Givani Smith May Get Top 6 Minutes

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

“We kind of have two shooters in Fabbs and Zadina, kind of the same type of player, so Smitty would be a net presence, big-body guy (joining) a playmaking center with a shooter in Fabbri,” Blashill said. “That line has gotten chances but they’re a little slight, so you got a big body up there as well. I’m not sure we’re going to stay with it and certainly don’t know if we’ll stay with it within the game but it’s something we wanted to look at.”...

“I think he’s been solid the last three games,” Blashill said. “I think he can be a guy who if he can get consistent in his game and bring what he can bring to the table that’s different from other people, he can be a guy who can help us.”

Smith took several bad penalties early in the season but hasn’t been penalized his past 10 games while trying to balance aggressiveness and discipline.

“It’s something we’ve talked to him about and sometimes you take away some of the aggressiveness,” Blashill said. “We’ll continue to make clear to him that we’d like to see him be a physical presence, which he has been at times last couple of games.

“But there’s a lot more to it with him. Him and I have talked lots about being real good in our zone, being real good with the puck moving up through the ice. He should be a real simple player with the puck moving up through the ice, get it out at our blue line, get it in at their blue line and play in the O-zone, because that’s where he can separate himself. He’s got a unique skill-set when he’s in the O-zone, so let’s get there.”

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Comments

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This crazy idea could come only from our brilliant coach.

Posted by wings8 on 11/26/21 at 04:46 PM ET

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Smith might get look in top-six

This would be a major mistake. The guy is an AHL player, at best. His passing, shooting, stickhandling, scoring skills don’t merit top 6, let alone a full NHL season.

Posted by exor54 on 11/26/21 at 05:22 PM ET

SYF's avatar

If GSmith wants that top-six billing, he’ll have to be at least 25% of the guts and courage of one Tomas Holmstrom.

Posted by SYF from impossible and oddly communally possessive sluts on 11/26/21 at 07:19 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Bob Duff of Detroit Hockey Now with injury updates,

Forward Joe Veleno (upper-body) injury is questionable for Saturday’s game at Little Caesars Arena against the Buffalo Sabres. Defenseman Marc Staal (non-COVID illness) is doutbful for Saturday and defenseman Danny DeKeyser (COVID-19 protocols) is definitely out.

“He was unable to practice today,” Blashill said of Veleno. “I would call it day-to-day but not being able to practice yesterday and today puts him at very questionable for tomorrow.”

read on for DeKeyser and Staal updates…

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 11/26/21 at 07:36 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

“I think he’s been solid the last three games,” Blashill said.

And yet he played fewer and fewer minutes each game during that stretch, averaging about 8:45 in the last two.

Him and I have talked lots about being real good in our zone, being real good with the puck moving up through the ice.

Apparently what Blashill said to him didn’t make sense because he’s been really bad in the Wings zone where he loses almost every battle for the puck. And moving the puck? That’s been even worse.

But what the heck. Give him a try on the 2nd line. Who knows, he may surprise all of us.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 11/26/21 at 07:57 PM ET

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per wings8: “This crazy idea could come only from our brilliant coach.”

my take is this is SY’s hand showing - thinking givani might be gone if he doesn’t take advantage of this opportunity.

wings will only ice players who show consistent effort/results.

Posted by rickytarr on 11/26/21 at 09:17 PM ET

Nate A's avatar

Givani Smith May Get Top 6 Minutes

In Grand Rapids, right? Actually I don’t think that’s such a good idea either. He’s the perfect player to sit in the press box. Doesn’t take useful minutes away from either team.

Posted by Nate A from Detroit-ish on 11/27/21 at 01:20 AM ET

Kaszycki and his Krew's avatar

I don’t see as many Red Wings games as you folks do - but I have only seen Smith play in person one time.  It was right before the Pandemic hit.  A friend of mine was an usher at the Coli and if there were empty seats in his section (near the visitors bench) he would text me to come down and we would talk about the teams.  I used these opportunities to study the other team and learn more about them.

I was fixated on “Who is this Giovanni Smith” guy.  He looks bigger in person than his stats say he is.  He had a decent game, and even scored a goal.  Might it have been his first in the NHL? 

We thought he was part Italian - did not know he was not Giovanni, but Givani. 

I think DTW would be wise to invest in him and see if they can groom him for the future.  The Isles just signed Ross Johnston to a 4 year deal to have him be a healthy scratch (well, he is in Covid Protocol now - he would be playing now if healthy)  But you need a guy like Smith to help keep the other team honest.  It might behoove the team to play him at Grand Rapids and get the top line minutes needed…but I don’t see him often enough to comment.

But what if he can improve, not be a liability on defense?  He should be more like Holmstrom, and get in front of net and force teams to move him out.  He was a second round pick, had to have some talent in the Juniors-  No?

Posted by Kaszycki and his Krew on 11/27/21 at 11:50 AM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Givani Smith May Get Top 6 Minutes

In Grand Rapids, right? Actually I don’t think that’s such a good idea either.

Posted by Nate A from Detroit-ish on 11/27/21 at 12:20 AM ET

The truth is, Nate, he hasn’t been bad in GR. He played mostly 2nd-line wing last year and he could hold his own against AHL-level talent. To be honest, the Griffins could have used him last night against the Wolves.

But, so far, none of his modest success in the AHL has translated into anything useful in the NHL. And I think that has a lot to do with the fact that he’s not “aggressive” by nature. Look at Sieder, or instance. He’s just two inches taller than Smith, but he weighs nearly 20 pounds less and he doesn’t back away from any physical contact. Smith does.

But you need a guy like Smith to help keep the other team honest.

Posted by Kaszycki and his Krew on 11/27/21 at 10:50 AM ET

I think that’s what everyone thinks Smith is there for - to be a physical force and fight when necessary. But, again, it doesn’t seem to be in his nature. And when he does fight, he’s not very good at it.

But what if he can improve, not be a liability on defense?

That’s probably the only way he’s going to be able to stay in the NHL. If he becomes sound enough defensively to play on the PK, he could be a useful 4th line guy. But that doesn’t seem to be of any real interest to him.

I think Smith sees himself as a power forward. So let’s see what he can do playing with Suter and Fabbri. Can he dig pucks out of the corner? Can he use his size against guys along the walls and in front of the net?

He should be more like Holmstrom, and get in front of net and force teams to move him out.

Homer was a net-front monster because he didn’t care one bit about the abuse he would take while he was there. I have my doubts that Smith will ever want to (or be able to) play like that.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 11/27/21 at 12:19 PM ET

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Smith sucks.  can’t see this working out.

Posted by Matt_in_MI on 11/27/21 at 12:22 PM ET

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A lot of interesting theories out there. Datsyuk and Z got abdelkader an 8 year deal, maybe fabbri and suter can do something similar. Maybe it is SY saying “last chance to show us you belong here and not in GR.” I had high hopes for him and wanted him up in place of several guys the last two years but he just hasn’t been able to get it done. Soft on the puck, not an exceptional skater, doesn’t play heavy for his size. Grab that cheese, young man

Posted by MZ2215 on 11/27/21 at 04:39 PM ET

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Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com

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