Detroit Red Wings: Givani Smith a possible short-term solution

Octopus Thrower

The Detroit Red Wings might be yet again short-handed when they head to Boston Thursday evening to square off against the Bruins.

Tuesday night, the Detroit Red Wings suffered their first loss of the season in regulation play. Detroit was outplayed at home by the New Jersey Devils right from the opening faceoff. The Devils carried the play for the majority of the night, skating to an easy 6-2 victory.

Detroit was outshot to the tune of 41-22 despite getting an early lead thanks to captain Dylan Larkin notching his fourth goal of the season. The Red Wings continued to struggle in the faceoff circle, winning just 41.4% of the draws, plus went 0-3 on the power-play. In addition to a quiet power-play, the Red Wings yielded a short-handed goal and allowed their first power-play goal of the season. The Detroit Red Wings settle in with an early season record of 3-1-2,

Givani Smith is a possible solution for the Detroit Red Wings in the short term.

Following the embarrassing loss to the Devils, head coach Derek Lalonde continued to mix and match his lines Wednesday morning at practice.

Lalonde has moved struggling second-year forward Lucas Raymond down to the second line alongside Andrew Copp. There was another addition to the line that stood out; Joe Veleno was skating as the second-line left-winger.

The corresponding moves were pretty simple. David Perron was elevated to the top unit alongside Dylan Larkin and the red-hot Dominik Kubalik.

Detroit’s third line consisted of Michael Rasmussen, Elmer Soderblom, and Adam Erne. The fourth group was anchored by Pius Suter, who’d be flanked by Filip Zadina and defenseman Jordan Oesterle. Missing Wednesday was forward Oskar Sundqvist.

Following practice, Lalonde mentioned that Sundqvist had been playing through an upper-body injury and wasn’t sure if he’d be available Thursday in Boston.

It sounds as though Sundqvist’s injury isn’t considered a long-term thing, which means calling up Givani Smith would be a short-term solution to the teams’ fourth line. I’d prefer to see the Red Wings skate a forward on the line rather than a defender who can fill in as a forward in a pinch.

I mentioned during the blowout loss to the Devils that a player like Smith would serve a purpose for the organization by injecting energy to the bench with a big hit or a good ole fashioned donnybrook.

Smith has recorded seven goals and 14 points over 83 NHL games to this point in his career. The 24-year-old has one assist over three games this year for the Grand Rapid Griffins.

Calling Smith up won’t ‘wow’ anyone, but he can fill a void on the fourth line along with bringing some energy and a physical presence this team is lacking from the group of forwards.

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Again, this isn’t a long-term solution. The organization will be looking to add someone they feel comfortable with for a short time, someone they hope to use and send back to Grand Rapids without losing through waivers. Smith checks the boxes.

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