MLive’s Ansar Khan took note of Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill’s take on forward Givani Smith’s penalty-prone nature:
The Red Wings rely on abrasive forward Givani Smith to provide toughness, physicality and energy, but his aggression has led to some bad penalties that have left the team shorthanded. Smith has been called for hooking, cross-checking and slashing so far.
“Certainly, hooking penalties add zero value unless you’re hooking somebody because they’re about to get a scoring chance,” Blashill said. “It’s not like you’re bringing a level of compete or toughness on a hooking penalty. So those to me are a little bit different than (a penalty) on a net-front battle that he got in one of the games, (but) ultimately, he again needs to be smarter than that and not take a cross-checking penalty.
“Givani is learning that balance. He has to be the guy who’s playing hard, playing physical, bringing us momentum, potentially getting underneath the skin of the other player without taking penalties. He’s a young player and I have confidence he’ll keep getting better at it, but in the meantime, we all need to stay out of the box. He’s certainly not alone. We’re taking too many penalties.”