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Wings' success a boost to Detroit's psyche

Friday, 06.12.2009 / 2:27 PM ET / News
By Dave Lozo
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Wings\' success a boost to Detroit\'s psyche
DETROIT – Now more than ever, Red Wings coach Mike Babcock would like to see the Red Wings win the Stanley Cup for the city of Detroit.

There isn't a place in America that has been hit harder by the recent economic downturn than the Motor City. With the auto industry in shambles, factories are closing and workers are being laid off. Almost one in four people in Detroit is out of work.

Babcock would love to give the city a win Friday night against the Penguins in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals.

"People who don't live here have no idea what it's like here in Detroit right now," Babcock said. "I just know in my neighborhood, and I live in a nice neighborhood, the foreclosures and the kids in my kids' schools that have to move and dads don't have jobs and people are helping them, it's incredible.

"They don't get to come to the games, they cost too much. But they get to watch them on TV. And they get to enjoy it, and get as fired up as we do. And to me, that's a fantastic thing."

This isn't the first time the city is looking to sports to bring the city together during tough times. In the late '60s, Detroit was besieged by riots and civil unrest. And just like in today's Detroit, the city was dealing with housing problems and unemployment.

Pittsburgh Penguins Stanley Cup Final Gear In 1968, the Detroit Tigers won the World Series, rallying from a 3-games-to-1 deficit to defeat the St. Louis Cardinals. While Babcock doesn't go that far back, he understands the importance of doing something to lift the spirits of a downtrodden city.

"The '68 Tigers was a ways off for me, I've got to tell you," Babcock said. "I told the same kind of story in the room today. I talked about the '72 Boston Bruins winning the Stanley Cup."

Boston was dealing with its own economic hardships during that time. New England as a whole was seeing a lot of its manufacturing jobs being shipped elsewhere, leaving many without work. Phil Esposito and Bobby Orr did their best to give fans something to be happy about, vanquishing the New York Rangers in six games in the Final.

Babcock hopes the Red Wings can do the same for Detroit.

"For us, in Detroit and in Michigan, this has been an unbelievable run for our city and for our state just because of the economy here and for the people," Babcock said. "It's been absolutely fantastic. Now we've got to finish it off."



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  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
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11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
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14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
P. Datsyuk 66 16 33 7 49
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80