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Smith excited about Friday's debut

Rookie defenseman to play first game at JLA

Friday, 09.24.2010 / 12:05 PM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
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Smith excited about Friday\'s debut
DETROIT – Nerves will be in abundance tonight when Brendan Smith makes his first appearance in a Red Wings’ uniform at Joe Louis Arena.

“I’m excited and I’m nervous,” Smith said. “It’s my first pro game here. But the biggest thing is that you have to mellow out your emotions, because sometimes they can take over your nerves.”

Smith, the Red Wings’ top draft choice in 2007, is a big, solid defenseman who will make his first career preseason debut when the Wings host the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.

The Red Wings signed Smith to a three-year entry level contract last May. The Mimico, Ontario native spent the last three years honing his skills at the University of Wisconsin, where he finished last season as a Hobey Baker finalist. He led the nation in scoring among defensemen as a junior, scoring 15 goals with 37 assists.

But while he was among the best U.S. college players, Friday’s debut will be a whole new experience.

“My routine is to stay calm and not to get too focused on the game during the day,” Smith said. “Just go about my day. Taking a nap is huge, get a nice pre-game meal. Every single game I try to eat some pasta and grab a sandwich, just little things like that, and the nap has always been huge to me since I was 14 or 15.”

Smith is a long-shot to make the Red Wings’ regular-season roster, and it’s fair to say that he’s probably the No. 9 defenseman in the organization, following Jakub Kindl and Doug Janik.

Smith will likely begin the upcoming season in Grand Rapids, but he won’t need much of a pep talk from the coaching staff before Friday’s game.

“They’re not trying to tell us too much, not to get us too excited,” he said. “But obviously, we’re all excited, because this is the first one at the Joe and we’re playing the defending Stanley Cup champions. … We want to win this one.”


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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
R. Sheahan 81 14 11 -8 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80