Detroit Red Wings DetroitRedWings.com presented by AT&T
2015-16 Ticket Plans Available Follow @DetroitRedWings on Twitter! Follow the Red Wings on Facebook! Follow @DetroitRedWings on Instagram! Follow OfficialDRW on Snapchat! Get Red Wings Email Updates Get Red Wings Text Updates Get the Detroit Red Wings Official Mobile App
 

 
  • PRINT
  • RSS

Wings' Smith learns hard lesson

A healthy scratch the last two games, D-man will play vs. Sharks

Wednesday, 04.10.2013 / 3:04 PM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
X
Share with your Friends


Wings\' Smith learns hard lesson

Brendan Smith
Defense - DET
GOALS: 0 | ASST: 5 | PTS: 5
SOG: 30 | +/-: -1
DETROIT Brendan Smith loves this time of year. And he’ll love it even more now that he’s head back to the Red Wings’ lineup.

“I love the pressure, to be truthfully honest. I love when it gets down to crunch time and playoff hockey,” said Smith, who will be reinserted into the lineup when the Red Wings host the San Jose Sharks on Thursday at Joe Louis Arena.

Smith was a healthy scratch for the last two games. It’s the first time at any level that he’s sat-out this long in his career without being injured, he said.

Smith was pulled from the lineup last Friday when rookie free agent defenseman Danny DeKeyser made his NHL debut at Colorado. Smith was a healthy scratch again for the Wings’ 1-0 loss to St. Louis on Sunday.

Coach Mike Babcock said he wants Smith to be more defensively responsible.

“I just wanted the puck looked after better,” Babcock said. “He’s a better player than that. He’s had a few days to watch and think about it. I think Smitty is an ultra-competitive guy, who has a huge upside, but he’s just got to take care of the puck better.”

Smith will replace veteran defenseman Ian White in Thursday’s lineup, Babcock said.

With nine defensemen on the roster, Babcock has the luxury of sitting healthy guys as he sees fit. With back to back games last week, the Wings’ coach made a wholesale change, swapping out three defensemen who played the first night in Phoenix for three fresh bodies in Colorado.

While Smith certainly understands the reasoning for his benching, it still came as quite a surprise, he said.

“I think I’ve been playing pretty well, so it gets a little frustrating when you’re not in the lineup. I think that’s for anybody,” he said. “We’re all competitive players, competitive people, so we want to be in the lineup. There are things that everybody’s got to work on, but for myself as a young player, there’s a lot more. … But definitely, (it) caught me off guard.

“There’s always things that I have to work on, so I think just what I’ve been doing in practice, which is working hard, making a first good pass, not trying to get too complicated. Things have to get better, just making my game a little more simple and I guess playing the Nicklas Lidstrom way: See the first pass, make it.”

In 26 games this season, Smith has produced five assists and has a minus-1 rating while averaging nearly 19-minutes of ice-time per game. But in his last five games, he’s been a minus-5.

In fairness though, every Wings’ defensemen over the last two weeks – with the exception of White, who is a plus-1 – is on the negative side of the plus-minus rating.

“We have nine D and it’s really competitive,” Smith said. “You’ve just got to get back away from the game and kind of see what you have to do to get better and then do that in the practice and then once you get the chance, keep yourself in the lineup.”

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @Bill_Roose

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 77 17 49 -6 66
P. Datsyuk 63 26 39 12 65
T. Tatar 82 29 27 6 56
G. Nyquist 82 27 27 -11 54
J. Abdelkader 71 23 21 3 44
N. Kronwall 80 9 35 -4 44
R. Sheahan 79 13 23 -3 36
D. Helm 75 15 18 7 33
D. DeKeyser 80 2 29 11 31
S. Weiss 52 9 16 -2 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38

DetroitRedWings.com is the official Web site of the Detroit Red Wings. Detroit Red Wings and DetroitRedWings.com are trademarks of the Detroit Red Wings. NHL, the NHL Shield and the word mark NHL Winter Classic are registered trademarks and Original Six is a trademark of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Detroit Red Wings and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.
© NHL 2015. All Rights Reserved.

 
Advertise/SponsorshipsOlympia Entertainment | Code of Conduct | Privacy Policy | AdChoices | Employment | Contact Us | NHL.com Terms of Use | Site Map