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Quote of the day … Wings coach Mike Babcock

DETROIT >> Wings coach Mike Babcock pointed response to when asked about Petr Mrazek’s play and his subsequent inclusion of his team allowing 11 goals over the last two games.

“I didn’t like the second goal,” Babcock said. “Was that the fifth goal? When you’ve given up as many as we have it’s hard to remember.”

Wings coach Mike Babcock: “Give Pete an opportunity here because we need that area fixed.”

DETROIT >> Wings coach Mike Babcock gave Jimmy Howard one more chance to keep his No. 1 status between the pipes.

And now Babcock has taken it away.

After allowing three goals on 10 shots after one period in Thursday’s 6-4 loss to the San Jose Sharks at Joe Louis Arena, Babcock made the switch to Petr Mrazek the rest of the way.

Babcock then handed Mrazek the starting role for the time being after the game.

“When you’re behind like we are, you’re giving up too many goals,” Babcock said. “Let’s not worry about the turnovers at this point. Let’s fix how we’re playing without the puck, let’s get … Pete Mrzek’s got to get himself ready to go. Give Pete an opportunity here because we need that area fixed.

“It’s amazing when you get a little confidence in that area we can all settle down and get playing better,” Babcock continued. “We’ve scored tons of goals in the last couple of games but like I said it’s like chasing the game. You can’t play like that, you’ve got to play right. So we’re going to get regrouped and I guarantee we’ll be ready to play.”

Howard has allowed eight goals on 32 shots in slightly over four periods.

“I agree with you,” Babcock said when asked if Howard looked uncomfortable in the first period. “It’s one of those things. I haven’t talked to him, I’ll talk to him (Friday), but obviously it didn’t go the way he wanted.

“We gave him an opportunity to bounce back, he didn’t do that,” Babcock added. “We’ll give Pete Mrazek an opportunity here. As a group of coaches and a group of players we just got to bunker in here (Friday) and have a good conversation, have a good practice and get ready to play. Like I said we’ll be back ready to go.”

Howard, who turned 31 on Thursday, has been very inconsistent since returning in mid-February from a groin injury.

He was easily one of the reasons why the Wings are where they’re at now because of his strong play to start the season.

When Babcock was asked if he had a No. 1 goalie he responded with, “I’m starting Pete Mrazek next game.”

Mrazek also gave up a softy to Patrick Marleau, which proved to be the game winner.

“I didn’t like the second goal,” Babcock said. “Was that the fifth goal? When you’ve given up as many as we have it’s hard to remember. But the one, the chicken wing.

“(Logan) Couture’s shot’s a great shot, but that can’t happen to you,” Babcock continued. “But he’ll get the start next game and we need him to bunker down and play the way he’s capable of playing.”

The Wings, who lost 5-4 in overtime on Tuesday to Arizona, host Tampa Bay on Saturday.

“Same goes for everyone else,” Babcock said. “We had D that didn’t box out and weren’t ready to go at the start either. We’re all in this together. We took our lumps here today and last game. We’ve given up a lot of goals at home. That’s not how we want to play. That’s not Red Wing-like. We’ll come in here tomorrow and get it fixed.”

Detroit is 3-7-1 in its past 11 games.

Helm delivers an incredible delivery story

DETROIT >> There are baby birthing stories and then there are baby birthing stories.

Darren Helm has one of those baby birthing stories.

Helm and his girlfriend, Devon, welcomed their second daughter into the world from the backseat of the car as the Wings’ speedy forward tried desperately to get to the hospital on time.

He was five minutes way Providence Park Hospital.

“It was quite the experience, quite the ordeal,” Helm said. “But everything is good now. She came about seven days and five minutes too early.

“It was pretty intense,” Helm continued. “I’m extremely proud of what she did. The courage and the pain that she had to go through is amazing. How she did that I’m so proud of her, proud of the baby. It was a pretty good day when everything was kind of cleared and everyone was feeling pretty good.”

The delivery occurred at 2:15 a.m., Monday.

“It’s just a huge relief,” Helm said. “Five minutes too late to the hospital things could have got a lot worse, but luckily, fortunately, things worked out in the right way for us. Couldn’t be happier with the way things turned out and we have a pretty funny story now that we think about it.

“I don’t think I’ve been more nervous in my life and scared,” Helm continued. “I didn’t really have a chance to think about it until after. During, obviously, I was petrified, but things ended up working out great. Took me a good four to five (hours) … the whole day to calm down. It was an early delivery, so the whole day I was on edge just thinking about it.”

His daughter, Rylee Clare (six pounds, 10 ounces), and girlfriend were expected back home Tuesday afternoon.

“Right now I’m here,” Helm said after the Wings’ morning skate prior to their game Tuesday night at home against the Arizona Coyotes. “In five minutes my mind is going to be focused about getting home.”

A tired Helm was in bed around 11 p.m. after the team had just beaten the St. Louis Blues in overtime.

“She kind of woke me up and told me things were kind of happening, but not really fast,” Helm recalled. “So we kind of took our time. Should have been a little more (quicker) I guess.

“Devon kept on saying that she had the urge to push and they said when the baby’s ready, the baby’s ready,” Helm continued. “She can’t really control much about it. We tried to make it there. She tried to hold her back. But they said it happens every once in a while, but not often. They’ve always told us the second one comes quicker, but we didn’t expect it to be that quick.”

Helm’s other daughter, Reece, is three and a half years old.

“We called ahead and told them before we left,” Helm said. “But it was pretty much as we were leaving where things kicked into high gear. I went to the ER and they were ready. Then the people that we called came over. It didn’t take us too long to get us back into the actual baby room. She was cleaned up. Got to cut the cord and everything was fine.”

This birth really put a lot of things into perspective for Helm.

“I definitely haven’t been thinking about hockey for the last … this is probably the first time I thought about hockey,” Helm said. “Yeah, my mind is definitely on her and getting home. It will be the first time she’s home. It’s such a great feeling. Real proud of Devon and what she did.

“My older daughter is just so happy and excited to be a big sister and helping her out,” Helm continued. “She’s already trying to help us with changing diapers and giving her hugs. She couldn’t wait to get to the hospital (Monday). She was singing a little ‘I’m Excited’ song on the way to the room. She’s pumped. I think everyone is just real excited.”

Helm, who missed practice Monday, will be in the lineup Tuesday.

“Can you just imagine,” Wings coach Mike Babcock asked. “We’ve had a family program before home games all year basically, where guys present. He’s already done it but he sat down today and presented the story and the guys loved it and it was a lot of fun to hear him talk.

“Is that awesome or what? It’s unbelievable that that could still happen,” Babcock continued. “I just think back to many moons ago when we had ours, I can just imagine the urgency and the tension right there.”

Babcock’s message to Cole and Zidlicky simple: “Picture the player you are and just do that.”

DETROIT >> Wings coach Mike Babcock met with both newly acquired Erik Cole and Marek Zidlicky and had the same message for both of them, “Picture the player you are and just do that. That’s why we acquired you. Here’s our structure and now you have to find a way to do the two together.”

Cole and Zidlicky took part in their first practice with their new team since being traded for prior to the NHL trade deadline.

“I don’t want them thinking when they get on the ice I want them playing,” Babcock said. “It’ll show over time. We didn’t bring them here to change them. We got them here so they could do what they do and we’ll figure out a way to make it work for them.”

Cole practiced on a line with Henrik Zetterberg, who’s excepted to action Wednesday after missing four straight games due to a head injury, and Justin Abdelkader.

Zidlicky, who’s a right-handed shot and a power-play specialist, was paired on the blue line with Brendan Smith.

“He plays with pace and can take the puck to the net,” Babcock said of Cole. “He’s having a good year. Looks to me he has some size and has the ability to be heavy on it.”

“He’s a competitor,” added Babcock on Zidlicky. “He can shoot the puck and can make plays. He’s got good offensive skill. I think he’ll be a great addition. He made some plays in practice that makes you smile which is positive.”

The two will also be inserted on power play units. Cole will be out with his two linemates, along with Stephen Weiss and Niklas Kronwall, while Zidlicky will man the point for Pavel Datsyuk, Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar and Riley Sheahan.

“It was great to see that we as an organization were able to help our team,” Babcock said. “I think our team has done a good job and if you do a good job Kenny (Holland) has shown over the years he tries to help you.

“From an organizational standpoint, long term, we were able to do that without giving up a whole bunch so therefore we serve ourselves for now and in the future with the group we have coming,” Babcock continued. “We’re excited we have both guys. I think both can be prominent players for us. It’s going to take them some time to adjust but I think they’ll be a factor.”

Helm, Marchenko out a week to 10 days

DETROIT >> Both are expected to miss a week to 10 days according to Wings general manager Ken Holland.

“It’s nothing serious, but they’ll both be out for a short period of time,” Holland said.

Helm was injured in the first period on Saturday.

Holland said his MRI Monday came back negative.

Marchenko finished the game after tallying his first NHL goal.

With the acquisition of veteran defenseman Marek Zidlicky from the New Jersey Devils, the Wings are likely to assign Marchenko to the Grand Rapids Griffins once he is healthy.

Holland: “I’m confident we’re a better team”

DETROIT >> General manager Ken Holland made two moves prior to the NHL trade deadline Monday with one thing in mind … to make the Wings a better team.

And he didn’t have to part with much to make them.

The Wings dealt for defenseman Marek Zidlicky, a right-hand shooting power-play specialist, after obtaining Erik Cole, a physical, offensive winger, on Sunday.
“I’m confident we’re a better team,” Holland said. “I’m confident we can go on a playoff run. We’re doing the deals thinking we’re a deeper better team than we were 48 hours ago and now over the (rest of the regular season) we’re hoping they can fit in and Mike Babcock can find exactly where they fit in.”

The Wings have not made it out of the second round of the playoffs the last five years.

“We’re right in the thick of things in the Eastern Conference and if we can add a piece or two leading up to the deadline to make us a little deeper, a little better prepared for a playoff series and a price we could live with we wanted to do it,” Holland added. “I think our team has played pretty well. These guys have to come in and win a job.”

Both players are expected to make their debut with the Wings Wednesday against the New York Rangers.

In all Detroit parted with a conditional pick or two for Zidlicky, 38, and a second-round pick and two mid-level prospects to get Cole, 36. Both are unrestricted free agents after this season.

“When I look back at some of the deals we’ve made here over the years you never really know which deals will be the perfect fit or which deals don’t quite work out the way you want,” Holland said. “The price that we paid it was an opportunity to make our team a little bit better and ready for the playoffs.”

Holland expects Cole to play on a line with Henrik Zetterberg, who’s expected to return Wednesday after missing four games with a head injury, while Zidlicky will give a boost to a power-play unit that’s already the best in the league, converting 25-percent of the time.

“I think that’s huge,” Niklas Kronwall said when asked about them not having to give up much in return. “I think we’ve got a really good thing going. We’ve got really good chemistry in the room. So I think that was very important.

“I think we still have a long way to go (before the playoffs),” Kronwall continued. “I haven’t really started talking or thinking about that yet. We just have to focus on these next few games ahead.”

Both Zidlicky and Cole, who had 18 goals and 15 assists in 57 games with Dallas this season, have a decent amount of playoff experience as well.

Cole has six goals and eight assists in 46 playoff games, while Zidlicky, who had four goals and 19 assists in 63 games this season with New Jersey, has appeared in 38 playoff games with a goal and 15 assists.

“I think it’s a good thing,” Jimmy Howard said. “The pieces that Kenny added are a positive for our club. Got that right-handed, offensive defenseman they were seeking and we also added some depth up front with Erik, bringing in a tenacious guy that goes to the net hard and likes to play rough.”

The Wings did inquire about Toronto defenseman Dion Phaneuf, but could not get the Maple Leafs to take pick up nearly $2 million annually in his salary. Phaneuf has six years remaining on a $49 million contract that he signed in the middle of last season.

For Cole, Detroit parted ways with a pair of prospects – Mattias Janmark (center) and Mattias Backman (defenseman), who are both playing in Sweden – and a 2015 second-round pick. The Wings will receive the Stars’ third-round pick next season unless they reach the conference finals.

The Devils will receive Detroit’s third-round pick in 2016 for Zidlicky. If the Wings reach the Eastern Conference finals this year they’ll also send a 2015 fifth-round pick to New Jersey and the 2016 third rounder moves up to the second round.

With adding Zidlicky and Cole, Wings done making deals according to GM Ken Holland

DETROIT >> The Detroit Red Wings’ wish list when free agency opened this past offseason was a right-handed shooting defenseman to man the point on the power play.

On Monday, just hours before the NHL trade deadline, the Wings obtained one.

Detroit made a trade with the New Jersey Devils for defenseman Marek Zidlicky.

On Sunday, the Wings made a deal for Erik Cole. In return, the Dallas Stars got a pair of prospects – Mattias Janmark (center) and Mattias Backman (defenseman), who are both playing in Sweden – and a second-round pick.

Wings general manager Ken Holland said the team will not make another move prior to the deadline at 3 p.m.

To get Zidlicky, who’s a power-play specialist and will immediately upgrade the top-ranked power play unit in the league, Detroit gave up a conditional third round draft pick in 2016.

If the Wings make the Eastern Conference finals this season New Jersey will also get a fifth-round pick in 2015.

If they make it to the Stanley Cup finals, the third-round pick becomes a second rounder and Detroit will get a fifth-round pick in return in 2016.

Zidlicky, 38, is in the final year of his contract and will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.

The Wings have made a pitch to sign Zidlicky, who has four goals, 19 assists and a minus-seven rating in 63 games this season, each of the last two seasons, but he chose each time to re-sign with New Jersey.

Zidlicky had to waive his no-trade clause to come to Detroit.

He’s played 11 seasons in the NHL and has totaled 82 goals and 308 assists. He’s also appeared in 38 playoff games with a goal and 15 assists.

The Wings did inquire about Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Dion Phaneuf, but earlier this afternoon a source said that they’re not in on a deal to bring him to Detroit.

The main sticking point is his salary.

Phaneuf, who would be that impact defenseman the Wings would make a move to obtain, has six years remaining on a $49 million contract that he signed in the middle of last season.

Detroit wanted Toronto to pick up about $2 million annually on his deal to bring his salary-cap hit in at $5 million a season.

Phaneuf, 29, has three goals, 20 assists and has a minus-eight rating in 51 games this season with Toronto.

He’s a left-handed shot and would provide another physical element along the blue line.

Cole, 36, has a decent amount of playoff experience, scoring six goals and collecting eight assists in 46 games.

Cole, who has a 4.5 million cap hit, is a physical offensive forward and is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.

He had 18 goals and 15 assists in 57 games for Dallas this season.

For his career he has 262 goals and 264 assists in 881 games.