Tag Archives: mike babcock

Quote of the day … Mike Babcock on Luke Glendening

DETROIT >> Wings coach Mike Babcock on why he’s comfortable with Luke Glendening playing against David Krejci.

“Just ulra-competitive, skater, heavy,” Babcock said. “He used to be a football player, loves the contact, loves being a greaseball. Plays hard. Draws other guys into battles, has great hockey sense. Very competitive.”

Analogy of the day … Wings coach Mike Babcock

DETROIT >> Wings coach Mike Babcock came up with a perfect analogy regarding the on-ice incident between Brendan Smith and Zdeno Chara near the end of the first period of Sunday’s 4-1 loss to the Bruins.

“I thought he made a good decision,” Babcock said. “I don’t know why he’d go toe to toe with him.

“The way I look at it, if you’re a really good speaker then you should find employment speaking,” Babcock continued. “If you’re a really good fighter you should find employment fighting. So you walk into the bar and there’s this beautiful young gal standing next to this 6-foot-9 monster who you know makes his living fighting for a living and you’re the best pool player in the bar. Are you going to play pool or are you going to fight? Figure it out. It seems simple to me.”

Boston had the second most fighting majors during the regular season with 46. The Wings had a league low seven.

“One guy’s 6-foot-9, one guy’s not,” Babcock said. “What would be the good decision? I guess all I’m saying is I think you should do what you do well … play pool.”

Chara had two fighting majors this season as did Smith.

Quote of the day II … Wings coach Mike Babcock

DETROIT >> Wings coach Mike Babcock when asked what facets of the game this feels his team is better in than the Boston.

“I think we’re complete,” Babcock said. “I think we’re way better than people think. I think we’re a hard out.”

Quote of the day … Wings coach Mike Babcock

DETROIT >> Wings coach Mike Babcock on what the advantages and disadvantages were to starting the series on Friday after last playing on Sunday.

“I don’t know what the disadvantage could be for our team,” Babcock said. “We needed the time, we need to freshen up some people. We had ground hard to get in. When they were in here they gave guys days off and we couldn’t give anybody days off and the other thing about it is when you’re the lower seed, the more detailed you can be, the better off you can be. And so preparation time has been great for us. Ideally it will be an equalizer and give us an opportunity to really compete.”

Quote of the day … Wings coach Mike Babcock

DETROIT >> Wings coach Mike Babcock on what Daniel Alfredsson and David Legwand has brought to the team.

“I don’t to take anything away from Pav or Z, because they’re huge parts of our team, but Nik Kronwall set the tone for this team this year because he did it every day, all the time. Alfredsson gave him another support guy, along with the Mule, in my opinion, because those other guys weren’t available to us.

“When you look at that group right there, to me they did the most of the work leadership wise,” Babcock continued. “That’s so critical. We all want to rave about our kids, but we don’t make the playoff unless Ken makes that deal at the deadline. If we don’t Legwand we don’t get in the playoffs.”

Johan Franzen: “We want to keep winning.”

DETROIT >> Quick update from the Wings’ morning skate prior to hosting the Carolina Hurricanes tonight at Joe Louis Arena in their final regular season home game.

Coach Mike Babcock will keep with the same lineup he’s had the last two games, sitting Joakim Andersson and Todd Bertuzzi.

“We have to get better as a team,” Babcock said after the skate. “It’s so important to get better as a team. Every year we have a system review as soon as we get in, in other words we look at the details in our game so we’re ready going in.

“We play four lines,” Babcock continued. “We roll you out the door. We don’t know who’s first or who’s fourth until the game’s over because whoever plays good gets to play and we’re going to do the same thing tonight. We have to tighten up details.”

Jimmy Howard will start.

The Wings host a Carolina team that has just 79 points on the year.

“There’s not really going to be any change,” Riley Sheahan said. “Obviously we’re comfortable with the spot we’re in, but we’ve still got to play and we’ve still got to stay focused and keep winning. We’re not going to change anything and we’re going to keep going in with the same attitude.”

If the season ended prior to tonight’s game, the Wings would face Boston in the opening round. If they’re able to climb into that first wild card spot in the Eastern Conference they would open with Pittsburgh.

“We just want to be playing well,” Justin Abdelkader said. “Any team that gets in they just want to be playing well. We’re not worried about we’re going to play. Everything will sort itself out.”

Detroit went 3-0-1 against the Bruins this year and ended the year 1-1-1 against the Penguins.

“We want to keep winning,” Johan Franzen said. “We want to win these last two games and maybe climb up a spot. So, that’s our focus right now.

“I think it’s more we want to keep the winning going and come into the playoffs with a good feeling,” Franzen continued when asked if it mattered who they played in the first round. “Even if you say a loss like that doesn’t matter, it’s still a loss and we all want to win all the time. You feel worse after you lose than after a win, so we want to keep building our confidence and keep playing good.”

Detroit ends the regular season Sunday in St. Louis.

Columbus and Philadelphia also have 91 points and both have two games left in the regular season. Both teams hold the tiebreaker on the Wings, wins in regulation.

“You want to go on the playoffs on a roll and play good these last two games so we feel good about ourselves going in,” Abdelkader said.

Petr Mrazek is being recalled to backup Howard tonight.

Quote of the day … Wings coach Mike Babcock

DETROIT >> Wings coach Mike Babcock after the 3-2 win over the Boston Bruins.

“I mean we knew we needed a big kill and we talked right after because there’s tons of time left, we know the score,” Babcock said. “Now we had a lot of players tonight that, especially forwards, that weren’t very good for us and yet what they did in the third was they found a way to get going a little bit and guys that maybe wouldn’t have good games scored big goals for us so that’s a positive thing.

“We haven’t watched the other team play in a while, we stood around and watched and so that was surprising to me but it’s a good lesson for us,” Babcock continued. “We can play with anyone, we don’t have to watch the other team, we can actually just get out there and play.”

Babcock hears Datsyuk could play Friday, “I thought it was up to him (when he would start playing again).”

DETROIT >> Wings coach Mike Babcock has said all along he only spends time worrying about the healthy players on his team.

And that goes for Pavel Datsyuk as well.

Datsyuk could return as early as Wednesday against the Boston Bruins, or at the latest by Friday at home against the Buffalo Sabres.

“I’m going to assess him in the game,” Babcock said after practice Tuesday at Joe Louis Arena. “I think someone told me he’s playing Friday, I don’t know.

“I thought it was up to him (when he would start playing again),” Babcock continued. “I haven’t been involved in those things all year. I spend my time worrying about the players that are playing, so if I hear he’s in tomorrow, I’ll start worrying about him then.”

Datsyuk said he’s a game-time decision for Wednesday’s game.

“We’ll see tomorrow how I feel,” Datsyuk said. “It was (my) first full practice with team. I’m happy to be back with the team. I need a little more time to pick up the pace, pick up everything.”

Asked if Wednesday was possible Datsyuk said. “Tomorrow’s tomorrow. (We’ll) wait for tomorrow.”

The Wings announced they were shutting Datsyuk down for three weeks at the trade deadline to rest his ailing left knee. Last Friday marked that three-week timeframe.

Datsyuk played for Russia at the Olympics, but has only been able to play in two games with the Wings since returning. He last played on Feb. 27.

He’s missed the last 15 games.

“The whole thing is to understand it’s not about Pavel one bit, it’s about the Red Wings and the guys that are playing and we’ve just got to keep grinding. I don’t want to get caught up in that whatsoever, I want to have us keep on working.

Datsyuk has 15 goals and 18 assists in 39 games this season.

“We’ve got to keep doing what we’re doing, keep grinding,” Babcock said. “The players that are here, we’re going to worry about the ones that are dressed. We’re not going to spend a whole bunch of time talking about the ones that aren’t. When they’re dressing then we’ll talk about them.”

Despite not having Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg for a good chunk of the season, the Wings still find themselves in the playoff race. They hold down the first wild card spot in the Eastern Conference heading into play Tuesday night.

“To me, he always looks great,” Nyquist said of having Datsyuk take part in practice. “But I don’t think he feels 100 percent shape-wise or anything like that. But he’s so good out there, he’s always good, I think, when he’s on the ice.

“I’m sure he wants to see how it feels with a couple full skates, especially conditioning-wise when you’ve been out for a while, it’s different to be on the bike here and then do some skates without the team,” Nyquist added. “It’s going to take some practice to get in game shape again.”

The Wings have seven games left in the regular season.

“He looks good, but it’s all about how he feels,” Justin Abdelkader said. “He could look good, but if his knee is bothering him. It depends how he feels on the ice, but he looks good.

“Teams key on him,” Abdelkader continued. “They key on him on the power play and 5-on-5. He’s usually going to take the best matchup from the (other team’s) defensemen. He’s a big part of this team. It’ll be huge if he can comeback. If he doesn’t we still have to plug away with the group that we have.”

Legwand a minus-8 since joining Wings; dropped to third line

DETROIT >> Wings coach Mike Babcock talked about needing more from his veterans after Thursday night’s loss to the Montreal Canadiens.

One of those players he was calling out is David Legwand.

“So, so,” Legwand said Friday after practice at Joe Louis Arena when asked to assess his performance since joining the Wings. “There is room to improve and be better in certain areas in the game.”

Legwand was dropped from the team’s top line in the second period Thursday to the third line, which is where he’ll begin the game Saturday night in Toronto

Legwand was also a minus-3 in the loss.

Over the last three games, Legwand has been a combined minus-6, which makes him a minus-8 with the Wings.

“We didn’t play very good so we changed things during the game,” Babcock said. “We’re just staying with what we finished with.”

Legwand will skate alongside Daniel Alfredsson and Joakim Andersson.

“You have to go out there and do what we can do to help the team out in whatever way possible,” Legwand said.

He played the fewest minutes (12:36) he’s played with the Wings since they traded for him at the deadline.

“It’s a different system and a different group of players,” said Legwand, who’ll be an unrestricted free agent this summer. “It’s getting used to a few different things and things I have to adjust to, but you have to be a professional about it and do it the right way. It’s crunch time, there are nine games left and every point matters.”

In 12 games this season with the Wings, Legwand has two goals and five assists.

“I think he’s been good, I didn’t think he was great (Thursday) but he was in a club with some other veteran guys that weren’t very good either so you know we weren’t good enough any way you look at it,” Babcock said.

Babcock’s top line is now Johan Franzen, Darren Helm and Gustav Nyquist, while the Kid Line remains intact of Tomas Tatar, Riley Sheahan and Tomas Jurco.

“(The veterans) weren’t good,” Babcock said. “You’ve just got to play better, that’s all there is to it.”

With nine games left in the regular season the Wings still control their own destiny.

“Your season pretty much boils down to nine games,” Legwand said. “We control our own destiny pretty much and it starts (Saturday) night with beating Toronto and continuing Sunday (against Tampa Bay). We can get two big wins over the weekend and move on from there and put this other stuff behind us.”

Wings coach Mike Babcock on David Legwand’s butt-ending penalty

DETROIT >> Wings coach Mike Babcock on the five-minute major for butt-ending Evgeni Malkin and game misconduct assessed to David Legwand late in the third period with the game tied 4-4 with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

“He took the penalty,” Babcock said. “The referee made the call. When it happened, to be honest with you, I thought because they had been all over him, I thought that it was weak. But when I watched it on video, he just made the call.”

Legwand drew the penalty after Malkin raked his stick over the back of Legwand’s head to the left of Jimmy Howard.