Originally written on Nightmare on Helm Street  |  Last updated 11/16/14
Detroit-red-wings-new-york
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 Ian White 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:  Alas, the hockey God's do not consider the needs of mere mortals when selecting targets for their pulled groins and separated shoulders.  Nor do they take mercy on the tired souls of men like Carlo "Rick DiPietro" Colaiacovo. I seriously Google searched the term "oft injured", clicked feeling lucky, and it took me to Colaiacovo's Wikipedia page... which is really just a long winded injury history. An Ian White laceration (punk band name anyone?) later and Detroit is skimming a list of free agent defensemen that couldn't have looked very pretty, because they went out and signed Kent Huskins. At this point, Smith is probably having Taxi Driver moments with his coaches as they deliver lessonson how to actually prevent goals and run a power play. Looking from Quincey to Huskins to Jonathan Ericsson thinking "You talkin' to me? Then who the hell else are you talkin' to? You talkin' to me? Well I'm the only one here. Who the f&*^ do you think you're talking to?" Smith may not realize it, but he's the only player on this Red Wings blueline that hasn't yet hit their ceiling. That isn't a good thing on a team that boasts one half of a good top pairing when they are fully healthy. But when they are in shambles?  Yes, this is how Brendan Smith became the most important player on the Detroit Red Wings. We know what we are going to get from Nicklas Kronwall. He's 32 and isn't going to learn any new tricks, which is a bummer because Detroit is currently 0-for-15 on the power play. Jonathan Erisson is a solid third pairing guy. And by solid I mean he's like the defenseman version of those machines that pitch baseballs to players automatically... except instead of baseballs he does pucks, and instead of pitching them he turns them over to the opposing team. Since arriving from Colorado, Quincey hasn't been worth the paper the NHL used to file his trade officially in its offices last season. Just... bad. Colaiacovo gets hurt if he even glances at a corner during a professional hockey game. And what, the Wings are going to count on Jakub Kindl and Brian Lashoff to be heavy lifters here? No, Smith has every opportunity to be the man right now. He has the talent, tenacity, and most importantly, he has the opportunity to have a remarkable season for Detroit. If he doesn't, or at least doesn't play beyond what was expected of him at first, the boys in red and white might be in for an uphill, injury infested season to forget. Make no mistake about it. Three games into his first season as a Red Wing, Brendan Smith has become the teams most important player.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: No NFL team is moving to Los Angeles in 2015

Report: 49ers looking for young, offensive mind as next coach

Sheldon Richardson: I'm on the same level as JJ Watt

Kendrick Perkins: Rajon Rondo wanted out of Boston

Report: Jim Harbaugh being encouraged to take Michigan job

Three quarterbacks who could be traded this offseason

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Wolves trade Corey Brewer to the Rockets

Yankees trade Prado to Marlins for Eovaldi in 5-player deal

Brandon Browner fined $8K for throwing Brandon Gibson to turf

Report: Sharper, NFLers called spiked drinks 'horny juice'

Rex Ryan: My wife could coach Tom Brady

Jim Harbaugh won in laser tag by 'hunting' 10-year-old kid

Grizzlies players buy new car for team intern

Peyton Siva jokes that Rick Pitino is in the mob

WATCH: Montrezl Harrell ejected for throwing punch

UNC wearing Jordan-era throwback uniforms

Brian Kelly: Justin Brent gets 'distracted,' is in my doghouse

Five free agent signings that should happen in 2015

Reporter asks Rajon Rondo awkward question about trade

Video: Swaggy P elbows Steven Adams in throat, gets ejected

Video: Grizzlies buy car for assistant who had his stolen

Video: LeBron takes pass to the face from Dion Waiters

New video of Ray Rice incident emerges

President Obama calls James Franco “James Flacco”

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

No NFL team in LA next season?

UNC rocking Jordan-era throwbacks

Reporter asks Rondo awkward question

Three quarterbacks who could be traded this offseason

Jon Lester and the Cubs

Report: NFL players used 'horny juice'

Top 10 worst NBA related commercials of all-time

Phelps gets probation for DUI

NFL coaches on hot seat in Week 16

The Roy Williams-Terrell Owens horse collar turns 10

Most underpaid NFL players in 2014

Gronk jokes about Brady compliment

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.