Detroit Red Wings: Where’s Givani Smith when you need him?

Octopus Thrower

The Detroit Red Wings fanbase and even some of the hockey world was set ablaze after Ryan Reaves laid an open-ice hit on Filip Hronek in Wednesday night’s loss to the Wild. The hit sent Hronek to the locker room and landed him in concussion protocol.

The Detroit Red Wings did nothing after the hit. Jake Walman went after Reaves immediately, giving him a shove and exchanging words. The Red Wings should have jumped him to exhibit some retribution for Reaves actions.

While Ben Chiarot finally dropped the gloves with him later in the game, it should not have taken that long for something to happen. The Red Wings opted to play soft and then run around being ineffective with their physical play after that.

They need that spark and physicality to help really get the Red Wings firing. While Dylan Larkin can sometimes bring that spark, he’s out injured. The Red Wings should have brought up forward Givani Smith to be one of the players who will step up and bring that physical element the Red Wings are without.

Detroit Red Wings should give Givani Smith a call-up.

The Red Wings are short-handed due to injuries. They shuffled the roster around and brought up Elmer Söderblom before the game against the Wild to replace Larkin. Though he did score the Red Wings’ lone goal on Wednesday, it may not have been best to call him up.

The point of sending Söderblom down to the Grand Rapids Griffins was to get him some time to focus on his development, aiming for a return down the line. Little did they know it would be a few days later. For the Red Wings, bringing up Smith may have been the better option to combat the physicality the Wild brought.

Smith has not gotten as many chances at the NHL level in 2022-23. He’s played in just two games this season. He has been with the organization off and on for the last four seasons. He logged a career-high 46 games in 2021-22, with four goals and three assists for seven total points.

But Smith is not known for his offensive abilities. He’s the physical presence the Red Wings desperately need to avoid getting stepped on by teams who bring that physical presence. Smith could be someone who keeps other teams on their toes and is a force to be reckoned with.

There are a lot of unwritten rules in hockey. The game has changed from the days of dropping the gloves night in and night out, but teams can still have an enforcer who will stick up for the team’s star players.

Maybe this is a rash reaction after the Hronek hit and lack of accountability on Reaves, but why not bring up Smith and try to improve the team’s physicality and avoid playing soft for a few games?

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