For the past three games, Brendan Smith has been in the press box watching his Red Wing teammates as a healthy scratch. That is likely to change over the weekend as Smith practiced with the regulars alongside Mike Green and is should draw back into the lineup Sunday as the team makes the trip to Chicago.
Coach Blashill wouldn’t confirm but based on the pairings at practice today, it looks like Alexey Marchenko will be the odd man out for the game against the Blackhawks. The head coach downplayed Smith’s time out of the lineup, “I didn’t think it was a matter of what he did wrong. I’ve got seven NHL defensemen and I can only play six”. Blashill wouldn’t condemn the defenseman but he has had a bit of a rough year and is hoping he can find his game in order to remain in the lineup on a regular basis.
Paired with Green, Smith should be given every opportunity to contribute to the team as they continue to battle for playoff positioning. With the Pittsburgh Penguins only a point behind with a game in hand, improved play by Smith and the blueline as whole is a necessity if they are to have any hope of holding on to the first Wild Card position in the Eastern Conference.
Red Wings’ Brendan Smith likely back in lineup Sunday at Chicago, focused on keeping job https://t.co/z9M8iz5EfU
— MLive.com Red Wings (@RedWingsMLive) March 4, 2016