Carolina’s 7th defenseman steps up and does his part
When Carolina was told that their 7th defenseman was going to score in this game, you would have assumed that means the Canes were going to blow the Kraken away, but in fact, Brendan Smith was one of the best players from this game. He scored a beautiful slapshot goal, and he’s been really solid for the organization both on and off the ice. He’s done everything he’s been asked to do.
While Smith has been used sparingly at times during this season, he’s been solid whenever he’s been forced into service for the Carolina Hurricanes. He’s not a top-four defenseman, but he’s capable on the bottom pair, and he’s able to hold his own as he is a capable player. He’s even been tasked with killing penalties which means he’s clearly trusted in his own zone.
Smith’s obviously not going to make the top pairing, and he’s the extra when everyone is healthy and accounted for. This is not to say that he is not a good player. He’s been able to eat time on the third pairing without shipping out dramatic chances against, or even giving up too many goals. He’s been a solid bottom pairing defenseman and he’s hopefully going to be that only for the Canes moving forward.
He’s got a couple of goals during his time for the Carolina Hurricanes, and that is despite his offensive production not being his best strength. He’s certainly not been less than what the Carolina Hurricanes expected him to be. He’s been a better player than the Canes deserved to ask for when they signed him this summer at the time they were bringing in all sorts of free agents.