Tag Archives: Smith

Normally very talkative Smith very tight lipped about his status for Game 3 despite Babcock announcing he was on a local radio station

DETROIT >> Brendan Smith isn’t usually one to shy away from speaking his mind in the Wings’ locker room.

But that wasn’t the issue Monday afternoon.

After Wings coach Mike Babcock announced Monday morning on a local radio show that Smith would return to the lineup Tuesday, Smith was asked how he felt about getting back in.

Here’s how the exchange went.

Q: What’s it been like being out?

Smith: What’s it been like?

Q: Disappointing to be scratched?

Smith: Absolutely. Just be ready when called upon.

Q: What have you noticed watching the first two games of the series?

Smith: I think coach came up with a game plan and we’re going to try and stick with that. I think that’s the plan.

Q: Were you told this morning you were going in?

Smith: Nope. Like you guys are the ones telling me so I don’t know.

Q: Babcock mentioned that on the radio.

Smith: OK. Like I said I haven’t been told so I don’t know. I’m just going to be ready when they call me.

Q: What do you need to do to keep in lineup, no turnovers, playing with the puck more?

Smith: Our team likes playing with the puck. That’s kind of our emphasis. We don’t want to turn it over.

Smith: Anybody else?

Q: Been tough to watch games?

Smith: Everybody’s trying to get in. Anyone that’s a Black Ace is trying to get in, whoever’s a Black Ace is trying to play. I think that’s a big thing. All I do is listen to our systems and when I get the call I’ll be able to get in there and play as hard as I can.

Q: You haven’t heard until now, surprised?

Smith: I’m just going to wait until I actually find out. When I find out for sure I’m in the lineup and I’m out there then I’ll be happy and play as hard as I can.

Q: After giving up a lot of shots in Game 1 the team did a better job against that in Game 2, notice why?

Smith: I didn’t play. I think in any game we’re focusing on boxing out and playing hard in front of the net. If you want to ask those questions it would more evident with some of the guys that played the games. I thought there were sometimes when we lacked coverage, but so did their team. That’s just how the game goes, but like I said you should go ask some of the other guys. But what I saw we played well in different areas.

Q: How do you deal with being a healthy scratch?

Smith: Stay positive, that’s the biggest thing and just keep working hard. If you guys saw any of the practices I was working hard and bag skating myself or getting Tony (Granato) to help me out working on things. That was kind of the biggest thing.

Q: Excited to get in?

Smith: Like I said I’m not sure I am, people telling me that I am, but I’ve had that happen before. If I have the chance to play I’ll be happy and I’ll just answer the bell because that’s what I do.

Smith has been a healthy scratch since he gloved the puck intentionally while on the bench against Montreal in the second to last regular season game.

“Smitty can really skate and competes,” said Babcock, who didn’t want to get into the reasoning behind Smith being a healthy scratch. “I don’t think we’re skating good enough and I don’t think we’re competing hard enough. So there are two things.”

Smith will be paired with Marek Zidlicky.

“Yeah for sure,” Justin Abdelkader said when asked if Smith was bothered by sitting out. “I mean this time of year everyone wants to be in the lineup and everyone in here is competitive and fighting for not only a spot in the lineup but ice time.

“You could tell it was getting at him, but he stayed positive and worked hard,” Abdelkader continued. “He’s going to be ready. He’s going to provide some physicality for us. He’s a big defenseman who takes the body, makes it hard for opponents to get to the front of the net. I think he’ll be a big boost, he’s going to come out ready to go.”


Brendan Smith not ready to return from hand infection after fight with Columbus’ Nick Foligno

DETROIT >> The Detroit Red Wings aren’t known for having players that fight on their roster.

And after what happened to Brendan Smith, fighting may be forbidden from this point on for any player in that locker room.

Smith returned to practice Tuesday after missing the last six days with an infection in his left hand from a fight he had with Columbus’ Nick Foligno in the third period of a Wings’ 5-0 win.

“I think I hit Foligno in the mouth and apparently there’s a lot of bacteria in the mouth so I ended up getting infected that way,” Smith said. “It was just a fluke incident. Sometimes it can get cut open. A lot of times nothing will happen but it was just unlucky that time.”

The fight was the Wings’ only one of the season.

Smith had surgery to clean out the wound and is on antibiotics.

“It was pretty bad,” said Smith, who did finish the game. “It wasn’t until the morning. It kind of woke me up and it was swollen and throbbing a little bit.”
Detroit is behind Chicago, Florida and New Jersey for fewest fighting majors in the league. Each of those teams have three.

“You can’t really, it’s so split-second kind of thing but I think at the end of the day, you just play the game hard,” Smith said when asked if he will think twice before dropping the gloves again. “If something happens, you answer the bell. Obviously you want to be aware of what you’re doing; you want to make sure you’re not going to get yourself hurt. You make sure that you’re not at the end of your shift when you’re tired so there’s a chance you’ll get hurt. These are all things that you’ve got to take into effect. It’s never going to stop me from being physical or anything.”

Smith is eligible to come off short-term injured reserve Wednesday, but it’s more likely he’ll miss his fourth straight game.

“I think I’ve been playing pretty well and all of a sudden a fluke incident like that gets me hurt,” Smith said. “It’s frustrating. But the other thing is it could be a lot worse. If we didn’t catch it and I played another game and got more stuff from my glove, it could have been a lot worse. I could have been out for a month. You can look at it as a blessing in disguise that our docs figured it out quick. It was one of those things, instead of taking one step forward, two steps back, we did the opposite. I’m pretty happy with how everything’s gone and obviously it is frustrating but it looks like I’ll be back soon as possible.”

Smith on Marchand: “He’s an antagonizer, he’s kind of like a pest type of guy.”

DETROIT >> You can add Brendan Smith to the list of players that aren’t a big fan of Boston forward Brad Marchand.

The Bruins agitator drew a tripping penalty on Smith in the second period of Tuesday’s Game 3 of their Eastern Conference best-of-seven first round series.
Marchand thrived in pain on the ice gripping his right knee despite getting checked in the left leg by Smith.

“It was funny when he was putting all his weight on the leg that got hit (leaving the ice),” Smith said Wednesday at Joe Louis Arena. “It’s interesting when I saw the picture.

“That’s Marchand, he’s going to try to create some stuff, that’s the kind of player he is and he’s kind of lived off that for a long time, that’s why he’s great. It’s kind of funny when you get caught like that and you go down on your left leg and you got your right leg up. That’s how he is. That’s how he plays. It’s worked for him.”

Marchand has been trying to get under Smith’s skin the entire series, but he insists his ploys to do so aren’t working.

“For me I just keep playing,” Smith said. “I’m hoping the refs will start seeing a little more but it’s playoff hockey, that’s what goes on.

“That’s what he does, he’s an antagonizer, he’s kind of like a pest type of guy but he’s one of the best in the league at that,” Smith added. “It’s good that the refs can understand that.”

Boston’s ploy throughout the series seems to be try and get under the skin of any Wing in sight.

“It’s so emotional and the tensions (are) really high and guys are laying everything on the line,” Marchand said. “Things get chippy and guys are playing aggressively and it just comes out in playoffs a little more when you know what’s on the line and what you’re expected to do.”

In Game 1, Milan Lucic speared Danny DeKeyser between the legs. In Game 2, Zdeno Chara squared off with Smith and smiled the entire time as the Wings defensemen tried to engage with him at the end of the first period.

“I don’t like some of the cheap shots here and there,” Smith said. “In that sense I don’t like how (Marchand) plays that way.”

Smith not backing down from anyone, but does need to keep that between whistles

DETROIT >> Quick update from the Wings’ optional skate at Joe Louis Arena on Monday morning.

Brendan Smith finally addressed the on-ice altercation he has with Zdeno Chara near the end of the first period of Sunday’s 4-1 loss to the Boston Bruins.

“I want to stand up for myself and standup for my teammates and I will,” Smith said. “I’m not saying I won’t, but I’ll do it between the whistles. You don’t have to do stuff after the whistles. I’ve learned that in the last little bit.”

Smith and Chara squared off and appeared to be close to dropping the gloves had it not been for a linesman stepping in between.

“A lot of times you try and grab someone before they get into the pile to make sure someone doesn’t get in there and get a cheap shot,” Smith said. “I think he came right over to me and that’s how it started.

“It’s all spur of the moment kind of stuff,” Smith continued. “There was a lot said. I really don’t even think about it. I can’t even remember to be honest with you. Everyone is dwelling on it, but this is what it’s like in the playoffs.

Chara, who’s 6-foot-9, had a grin on his face the whole time during the altercation.

“We’re not saying we’re going to back down, but the best way for us to be victorious in the end is to play between the whistles,” Smith said. “That’s what I’m saying. Guys like (Justin) Abdelkader, myself and (Kyle) Quincey, we’re not going to back down, but we’re not going to hurt our team because there’s no point to it.”

Boston had the second most fighting majors during the regular season with 46. The Wings had a league low seven.

Chara had two fighting majors this season as did Smith.

“You want to play tough and hard between the whistles,” Smith said. “After the whistles we’d like the refs to take a little more control of that. Maybe that was a first test so we’ll see what happens. Where you score is between the whistles and that’s what we need to focus on. All this stuff after the whistles doesn’t mean anything to us.”

Of the seven penalties the Wings drew Sunday, four were for roughing.

“Emotions are running high,” Darren Helm said. “(Milan) Lucic said it pretty well after he got (Danny) DeKeyser, emotions sometimes get the best of you. Last night I thought that’s what happened. Emotions are running high, we got into some scrums that we shouldn’t be getting into. We’re a team that plays between the whistles, not after the whistles.”

“It’s a lot of emotions out there,’ Gustav Nyquist said. “It’s the playoffs. They like to get involved after the whistles a lot. We’re standing up for ourselves. It’s just how it is in the playoffs. There are a lot of emotions.”

Lashoff in for Smith; Gustavsson starting; Wings and Canucks both fighting to stay in playoff race

DETROIT >> Quick update from the Wings’ morning skate prior to their game tonight against the Vancouver Canucks at Joe Louis Arena.

Jonas Gustavsson will start in goal and Brian Lashoff replaces Brendan Smith along the blue line.

Wings coach Mike Babcock shook his head no when asked if Smith was injured.

“I’ve seen lots from Lash so he’s going in,” Babcock added when asked what he’s seen of Smith lately.

Smith drew a tripping penalty in overtime that led to the game-winning goal by Washington on Sunday.

The rest of the lineup remains the same.

Vancouver and Detroit find themselves in unfamiliar grounds as they both are battling for their playoff lives.

“Things do change,” Babcock said. “We haven’t been the same team since ’09. We’re aware of that. There are number of options in the league. You can be bad for 10 years and get a bunch of first round picks or you can just try and do it on the fly and that’s how we’re doing it, on the fly. We want to continue to make the playoffs and try and improve our team.”

Both teams are in the second of two wild card berths in their respective conferences.

“We have a lot of kids in our lineup right now that have played well for us,” Babcock said. “We just think we need time for them to make progress. If we can hang in there, ideally we’ll get (Pavel) Datsyuk back, he’s a key guy for us, no different than (Vancouver’s) big guys. He will be a key addition.”

Brendan Smith on Richard Sherman interview

DETROIT — Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman was the topic of conversation in the locker room and defenseman Brendan Smith had quite the opinion on the incident.

“It’s not totally about the interview, I mean obviously emotions will get the better of everybody,” Smith said. “He made a huge play and he is one of the best corners, but I think just the taunting after he made the play, going over to (Michael) Crabtree and then throwing the choke sign I just think that’s uncalled for. It’s just not worth it and I might’ve handled things differently if I was Crabtree and somebody did that in a Stanley Cup game versus me and they scored and made a great play on myself. I don’t think it’s needed, that’s the biggest thing, but like I said he’s a great player and he should be happy he made a great play.”

Sherman has since issued an apology for what he said and how he acted.

“Everybody talks about what he did afterwards of the play,” Smith said. “If you think about it, (Colin) Kaepernick and most quarterbacks are actually scared to throw to the vicinity of Sherman because he is so great and they finally went for a home run like that and he made a huge play and it overshadows it for sure by his actions after and I think he would’ve got a little bit more credit or whatever if he maybe just chilled out and kind of gave a little more of a modest output on it but I think regardless he’s one of the best corners and he’s played well.”

Smith ‘surprised’ to be a healthy scratch; Glendening to make NHL debut

DETROIT – The juggling up of the forward units aren’t the only changes the Detroit Red Wings have made to their lineup.

Defenseman Brendan Smith also finds himself a healthy scratch for tonight’s home game against the Philadelphia Flyers.

“I’m surprised,” Smith said after the morning skate. “I don’t know, I’m just not in the plans today, I guess.”

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.

Luke Glendening will make his NHL debut tonight, centering a line with Drew Miller and Jordin Tootoo, who’ll be making his season debut.

“I just think he’s smart, he’s a right-handed shot who can take faceoffs,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “He’s going to get lit up in the NHL for a little bit, that’s just how life goes. He’s a good penalty killer. He’s competitive, he knows how to play, he’s what I would call a coach player, not a scout player, no scout would ever draft him, look him, because he doesn’t look that part, but he’s got unbelievable hockey sense, he’s an elite competitor and he’s a coach-type player, you can trust him to get stuff done.”

Glendening, 24, has two assists and is a plus-3 in two games this season with Grand Rapids.

“I’m excited, it’s a new opportunity, it’s great to be a part of a team I’ve watched since I was a kid, so I’m real excited,” Glendening said. “Hopefully I’ll be good on draws, just be physical and play my game. I’m not here to do anything special, just do what I’ve been doing.”

Glendening had eight goals and 18 assists last season with the Griffins and added six goals and 10 assists in 24 playoff games.

“It was huge playing under coach Blashill, he has been instrumental in my development as a player, just the way he teaches, the time he takes with individual people, what he does on the ice. That was huge for me and hopefully I’ll keep it going,” Glendening said. “They have a lot of guys here right now, they just said keep working hard and maybe we’ll see you again.”

Todd Bertuzzi will start on the top line with Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk.

Justin Abdelkader will play alongside Stephen Weiss and Johan Franzen.

“I’m hoping he’s going to provide some work ethic and get pucks back and give them more opportunity because we’re not getting enough of that,” Babcock said about adding Abdelkader to that line. “We need our big people to play big and hard and Abby’s done a real good job for Pav and Z. We’re hoping Bert can fill in and do that but Abby can get another group going. We need more than one group going.”

Daniel Alfredsson, who has one assist and is a minus-3 in four games, will skate on the third line with Daniel Cleary and Joakim Andersson.

Tomas Tatar and Mikael Samuelsson will be healthy scratches.

“He’s a good scorer and we need goals, so why isn’t he in? I ask myself the same question,” Babcock said when asked about Tatar.