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Babcock perfect fit for veteran Wings

Saturday, 05.16.2009 / 9:55 AM ET / News
By Brian Compton  - NHL.com Staff Writer
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Babcock perfect fit for veteran Wings
DETROIT -- When it comes to strategy, connecting with his players and, most of all, winning, they don't come much better than Red Wings coach Mike Babcock.

The fiery-yet-humble Babcock is in the midst of another phenomenal season behind the Wings' bench, as Detroit once again reached the Western Conference Final with Thursday night's 4-3 victory against the Anaheim Ducks in Game 7 at Joe Louis Arena.

All this, of course, after last season's tremendous run to Detroit's fourth Stanley Cup championship since 1997.

Ready, willing and determined to make it five titles in 12 seasons, the Red Wings will begin Round 3 of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs Sunday afternoon (3 p.m. ET, NBC, TSN, RDS) against the Chicago Blackhawks at Joe Louis Arena.

Part of the reason why the Red Wings have made it this far is because of Babcock's ability to make sure his team remains focused on the task at hand. Rarely, if ever, are his teams blown out: Detroit's three losses to Anaheim in Round 2 came by a combined three goals.

So when the Red Wings returned home following a 2-1 loss to the Ducks in Game 6, Babcock remained upbeat. Given the amount of talent on his team, there wasn't any reason not to feel that way.

"We watched a movie and had a nice meal," Babcock said of the flight back from Southern California on Wednesday. "The big thing is, when it's not going your way, don't press. You've got to continue to do the things you always do. We got up this morning, we were at Disneyland. The sun got up, everyone was smiling ... life was alright."

It was vintage Babcock. Twenty-four hours later, he received the OK from doctors that veteran Kris Draper would be able to make his postseason debut. It was one of many reasons to believe the Wings would find a way.

And then he walked into his team's dressing room and, as usual, gave a calming-yet-focused speech.

"He said that you've got to enjoy the moment," Detroit captain Nicklas Lidstrom said. "You're not going to able to play that many Game 7's. He told us to enjoy it, but keep our focus and that we know what we have to do."

Detroit then went out and did it, in dramatic fashion. Daniel Cleary broke a 3-3 tie with three minutes left in regulation for the game-winning goal. It was simply another case of Babcock's demeanor showing throughout his lineup.

"It's been fun," Lidstrom said of playing for Babcock. "He's an intense, demanding coach, but I think he brings out the best in us, too."










SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 77 17 49 -6 66
P. Datsyuk 63 26 39 12 65
T. Tatar 82 29 27 6 56
G. Nyquist 82 27 27 -11 54
J. Abdelkader 71 23 21 3 44
N. Kronwall 80 9 35 -4 44
R. Sheahan 79 13 23 -3 36
D. Helm 75 15 18 7 33
D. DeKeyser 80 2 29 11 31
S. Weiss 52 9 16 -2 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38

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