Posts tagged “Brendan Smith”

Slow Off Day: Smith Gets Reps

It doesn’t mean anything, but Brendan Smith skated with the main squad today. Can’t see him getting in the lineup because as badly as the Wings’ D screwed up Tuesday, none of those guys are getting yanked.

Anyway, there’s also the fact that Babcock doesn’t think they’re having trouble going to the middle. As I pointed out yesterday, the Ice Tracker tells a different story, at least as far as shots are concerned.

… And Hello, Brendan Smith

Update (2:30 PM): Turns out it’s both Lidstrom and Quincey. But they’re both just day-to-day. - Matt

Updated (1:15 PM): Ansar Khan reports that both Kindl and Smith will play tomorrow, which means a defenseman is injured. He suggests Lidstrom. - Matt

Your new competition, Jakub. Could this be Smith’s last trip between Detroit and Grand Rapids?

Griffins Lose to Americans

Since I didn’t catch the Wings/Blue Jackets game, here are some thoughts on the Griffins/Americans game we attended. It was a 4-3 shootout loss to Rochester.

Smith: He had a huge hit in the first period, running over the Amerk player inside the Rochester blueline. On the power play, he held the role of quarterback and did alright with that

Throughout the game, I tried to keep an eye on his apparent effort level and I’m starting to think he just plays a more leisurely game. Maybe he’s looked at Lidstrom and thinks that leisurely is the path to effortlessness and perfect minimalism of movement, but so far he just looks like he’s coasting at times.

Two other individual Smith highlights: his third period offensive zone penalty that took place below the goalline and his game-losing shootout attempt that got stopped by the Rochester goalie.

Nyquist: Not his best night. Megan says he doesn’t usually look like he did, but as it was, he seemed unalert to the puck offensively and just kinda out of it. I was unimpressed with his offensive game, though defensively he wasn’t bad.

The offensive complaints melted away, though, when he busted out the Zetterberg in the shootout. It was awesome.

Tatar: Tots never disappoints in terms of effort level. The kid’s so much fun to watch, whether he’s stealing the puck out front and setting up a huge solo chance or just taking command in the zone.

He was the lead dude in generating offense all night, and finished with a goal and an assist. They initially credited his goal to Andersson, so when I saw again on the replay how emphatically  he celebrated, I remarked to Megan that he must have gotten it instead. She said it’s not unusual for him to celebrate a teammates goal like that, which is pretty awesome, even if in this case, it was his goal.

One criticism: too many attempted moves in the shootout, Tomas. None of them fooled the goalie.

Conner: He’s fast. But finished -3. He did score in the shootout, though.

Brunnstrom: He doesn’t play his size. The rest of that note on him is “Brunnstrom is variably good/ungood.” That about sums it up.

Callahan: Had a pretty heavy fight with an Amerk in the 2nd. Started out a little slow, but they both got in some serious head and body shots. I found myself more interested in what those fists were doing to brains than in the entertainment factor of the fight.

Lashoff: A fringe prospect at this point, but nonetheless had a strong night, notching a goal and making some strong defensive plays. Most notably, he recovered very nicely when Aubre coughed up the puck to set up a Rochester chance. Lashoff caught up with the guy and stole the puck back to negate it.

MacDonald: That note on Brunnstrom could apply to Joey, too. He looked bad on the first goal allowed and then was overall sharp the rest of the night as far as regular play. In the shootout, he was beaten easily on the first two shots, and made the third save. Then after Brunnstrom put the puck off the pipe, he made the 4th save initially, and then forgot about it. It trickled into the net. To his credit, he made the fifth save, but by then, the game was on Smith’s stick and it didn’t work out.

Thomas: The new kid, the one they got for Amadio, is not Red Wing property, but I’ll mention him for the absolutely, flat out incredibly glorious chance he had in OT, with a wide open net. He put just about a perfect shot on it, but somehow Rocherster goalie David Leggio got across and absolutely robbed him. Ridiculous.

Griffins Close Out 2011 With A Win

We went to the New Year’s Eve Griffins game last night against the Milwaukee Admirals, which was a 3-2 win. So I’ve got a couple thoughts on some guys you care about:

Tomas Tatar looked very good. He was heavily involved in the offense and had a few great scoring chances himself. He managed to score on one after being fed the puck from behind the net. His patience on the play in drawing the goaltender out of the net was a good sign for his increasing maturity.

Brendan Smith looked much better than he did in the last game I attended. He was more obviously interested and it paid off with some great power play quarterbacking and a goal. It looks like his attitude is improving, which is a great sign.

Jan Mursak definitely has his speed back and isn’t afraid to use it. Unfortunately, he looked a little rusty and didn’t stand out apart from his speed.

Thomas McCollum played a very strong game, though he was beaten more times than the score indicated: the Admirals hit the post a lot.

One non-Griffins player note: Milwaukee’s Zach Stortini is an idiot. He must be pissed about no longer being an NHLer, but if there was any trouble on the ice at any point, you could assume he was involved.

Smith May Stay

Update (3:17 PM): Brian Hedger (@BrianHedger) suggests the mystery defenseman may be Jakub Kindl. - Matt

Update (2:49 PM): Per a team press release, Brunnstrom’s been reassigned to GR, which means Smith is sticking around and that the mystery defenseman won’t be out long enough for STIR, if he’s out at all. - Matt

At least temporarily, reports Chuck Pleiness. He’s at least staying through the skate tomorrow and depending on just how “banged up” the mystery defenseman is, he could be in despite White’s return to the lineup.

I half wonder if the guy Babcock calls “banged up” is Mike Commodore and that the description is more a commentary on his play than his health. Realistically, though, it’s possible Kronwall could use a break given how heavily he went into the boards in St. Louis. That may buy Smith another game of time to show he should be in Detroit and then the storyline will be that the Wings face a decision. Knowing their usual routine, though, he’ll end up in Grand Rapids again regardless.

If the mystery defenseman isn’t banged up enough to go on STIR, Brunnstrom is your likely odd man out of the lineup, as Pleiness suggests.

White Out 1-2 Weeks

So reports Chuck Pleiness. White’s goal-saving face-save last night resulted in a broken cheek bone that will sideline him for a bit. Here’s hoping this doesn’t derail what’s been a strong start to his tenure with the Wings.

On the plus side, this will allow the team to call up  Brendan Smith to serve the final game of his suspension. Since the team already has an extra defenseman to fill in for White with Mike Commodore, though, I wouldn’t expect Smith to stick around.

Welcome Back, Smith. Now Enjoy Watching the Game.

Update (2:27 PM): Okay, looks like Khan has the full story: Smith will at least get one game of his suspension served with tonight’s matchup in Colorado, and then he’ll be back on Grand Rapids’ books. As the week goes on and Commodore’s status is determined, Smith may be a Red Wing again and could get another game. And so on until the 18th or Commodore’s ready to go. - Matt

The Wings have recalled Brendan Smith, which means he can get his at least some of his suspension out of the way sooner rather than later. Commodore’s been placed on the 7-day injury reserve, putting the Wings at the 23 man roster limit with the recall. Smith can get three games knocked off his suspension before Commodore’s term on the STIR’s up and they’d be up to 24 roster spots, forcing Brendan back to the AHL.

Meanwhile, Smith is ineligible to play for the Griffins until the 18th, due to an executive decision by the President of the AHL. If he was going to sit at the AHL level anyway, makes sense to bring him up to the NHL to sit and get through some of his lasting punishment .

Anyway, as a side note: the Wings looked pretty good last night, thought it was just the Senators and they did lose focus later in the game. All in all, however, a decent start to the season. Will need to keep their defensive focus later in the game better going forward, but that’s been true for a while. Here’s hoping that new coaching angles will result in that being addressed now that we’ve got real game-time situations to learn from.