Babcock on penalty kill: “To test it each night with six or seven is crazy, three would be enough.”

DETROIT >> Quick update from Wings practice at Joe Louis Arena Wednesday afternoon.

The team had an optional practice with most of the regulars deciding not to skate.

Here’s a few quick answers from coach Mike Babcock after he addressed the media.

Q: The team was inconsistent down the stretch, how do you stop that from carrying over now?

Babcock: There’s two parts to that. Our part is we have to get prepared and ready to go and understand that Tampa is going to do their part too so the game has to be better. Each game of the series you have to get better to have success. We put ourselves in a good situation. We don’t want to give the situation back which mean our preparation has to be equal to their preparation today and tomorrow so we’re ready to go so that’s what our focus is.

Q: In the Wings’ two wins, Tampa Bay has been 0-for-13 on the power play.

Babcock: We’re on the penalty kill way too much, got to stay out of the box, that’s crazy. To give up a 5-on-3, it’s tough when you shoot it over the class or whatever we did. That 5-on-3 the posts were really kind to us. They made a real play to (Tyler) Johnson, that was tough to handle, but we have good penalty killers. We’ve had good penalty killers. We got off to a great start this year, we struggled in net for a while there, but we seem to have our penalty killing back. To test it each night with six or seven is crazy, three would be enough.

Q: How does Pavel Datsyuk continue to do what he’s doing at this age?

Babcock: Pav’s a real good player, obviously, and to do what he’s doing, we were able to watch Nick (Lidstrom) do it for a long, long time and to see Pav do it at 30, well he’s just about 37, is great. It’s a real honor to be around him. He’s a good, good man. He’s a good teammate. He does it right. He leads by example. He’s better without the puck then he is with it if you can imagine that. He’s a great, great player. They only thing that makes you nervous is if he wasn’t here who’s taking his spot.

Q: How has Datsyuk’s approach to the playoffs changed over the years?

Babcock: When I first got here they said Pav couldn’t play in the playoffs, I don’t know if you remember that. It’s the evolution of a player and understanding how hard it is in the playoffs. You don’t get much space and if you don’t score people say you can’t play, well I don’t think that’s the case at all he just evolved in it. Pav is a real team leader, he does things right and leads by example. He has great thoughts offensively and defensively. He doesn’t mind sharing his opinion with the coach. He’s a treat to be around to say the least. He’s made me a lot better coach just through his vision and how he understands and thinks the game should be played. He’s a great teammate.


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