Guest Post By Franklin Steele:
Brendan Smith's first season as a full-time Detroit Red Wing was not supposed to start like this.
Then again, this entire squad's opening weekend went like something taken from the middle pages of a Disney sports movie script... tragedy befalls our intrepid heroes! How will they respond to the adversity?
After losing Nicklas Lidstrom to retirement and Brad Stuart (thanks for catching this folks!) to his family/the San Jose Sharks, Smith probably figured that his shot at finally making the big team was pretty stellar. Not staring up at guys like Lidstrom and Brian Rafalski doesn't hurt chances, right?
What he didn't count on—what no one in the organization counted on—was an injury bug as contagious as bubonic tearing through Detroit's locker room.
I blame Kyle Quincey for the bug. It would be no surprise that the guy who was traded from the Colorado Avalanche was carrying a bio-engineered defensemen corps melting super virus, would it?
The reports have been steady and staggering, and the only thing more constant than injuries for the Wings this season has been the dwindling of Quincey's plus/minus rating.
It seems like since training camp opened at least one Red Wing has gone down with an injury every day. As irritating it was to lose guys like Darren Helm and Todd Bertuzzi, the (hopefully) short-term loss of these players was stunted a bit by an (alleged) depth of talented forwards up front. Where Red Wings had next to no wiggle room for injury was on the blueline.
Hit the jump for more on Smith: