Brendan Smith is on Detroit’s top defense pairing. (AP)
Brendan Smith is a bit more vocal than Reilly Smith.
Reilly, more of the shy type with the media, is extremely self-effacing. When things are going well, he’d rather somebody else get the credit. When things aren’t, he’s a little harder on himself.
So it was interesting Friday to talk to his brother, a defenseman for the Red Wings, about some of the major storlyines that have surrounded Reilly’s young career.
Reilly was a big part of the package that the Bruins received in the trade that sent Tyler Seguin to Dallas. Brendan recalls the day the trade went down, as he was hanging out with Reilly that July 4.
“The thing was, the first time we saw it was on Twitter. We were just on the couch and [see] ‘Reilly Smith is traded for Seguin with Loui Eriksson‘ and the whole deal,” Brenda said Friday. “We were kind of thrown off, and then when we thought about it, we thought it was a great fit for him. He could earn his position and go in and play hard.
“I knew going up, he worked really hard in the offseason. I wouldn’t say he was nervous, but he was really adamant [about] going into camp in really good shape and trying to earn a good spot on the team. Look what he’s done. He’s done a great job, and you’ve seen him. He’s a mature kid for his age, so it’s a been a testament to him. I have to give him a lot of credit.”
Brendan, 25, and Reily, 25, speak to one another regularly, though they will cut back on the commincuatin during this series. Brendan said that he and Reilly spoke plenty about the goal-scoring slump Reilly went through after scoring 18 goals in his first 52 games with Boston and only scoring two the rest of the way.
“I told him, ‘Keep shooting.’ The thing we talked about is, a basketball player goes through a slump and they’re throwing up bricks. The only way to get out of that is to continue to shoot until you get your rhythm back,” Brendan recalled. “That’s something that I try to keep telling him, and don’t be discouraged by it.
“Everybody goes through things like that, cold streaks. It’s natural. We talk all the time about different little things.”
Both Smith brothers now have major roles on there team. Though Brendan was a healthy scratch earlier in the season, he is now on Detroit’s top pairing alongside Niklas Kronwall. That should mean he’ll see plenty of Reilly, who is Boston’s second-line right wing.
The brothers, who have faced each other seven times in the NHL (including preseason) had always wanted to play each other in big roles with something important on the line. They just didn’t know it would ever happen.
“I mean, we envisioned that,” Brendan said. “That’s something that everybody envisions as a young guy, coming up and wanting to play. ‘¦ You want to have that confidence where you can play the top lines, because if you don’t, you’re not going to be there. You’re not going to have that confidence and you’re going to find yourself in the minors. Yeah, we envisioned it, but I guess it’s exciting to have it actually happen and actually fit into that position.”