Brendan Smith became the social media poster boy for all that went wrong for the Red Wings in the Game 1 debacle Wednesday against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Smith is young and inexperienced — just 24 years old — and he made several costly mistakes in the 4-1 loss. He was criticized during the national telecast and he was ripped on Twitter and local radio.

“I heard all the stuff,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “I heard some of the emotion from some of our staff, too. I didn’t see it like that.”

This is a coach trying to pump up a young player, trying to give him confidence

Or maybe it’s a coach trying to take the spotlight off Smith and spread the blame.

Then again, it’s probably a little of both.

Overall, the Red Wings played poorly against Chicago. It would be foolish to think that everything was Smith’s fault. It wasn’t. But make no mistake, the Wings do need Smith to play better and make better passes and decisions. He knows that. So does Babcock. The Wings need Smith to play with confidence. And they need him to forget about Game 1 and move on to Game 2, which will be played this afternoon in Chicago.

So Babcock met with Smith on Friday morning and showed him videotape of everything he did right.

“I saw a young guy try to make a bunch of plays and no one there to accept the pass on the other end,” Babcock said.

Smith said he did not think it was fair to be criticized so harshly.