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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 WSH 51 38 9 4 166 114 80
2 FLA 52 31 15 6 143 115 68
3 NYR 52 29 18 5 148 134 63
4 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
5 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
6 NYI 51 27 18 6 143 127 60
7 DET 52 26 18 8 130 131 60
8 PIT 51 26 18 7 132 130 59
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10 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
11 MTL 54 26 24 4 143 143 56
12 PHI 51 23 19 9 121 133 55
13 OTT 53 24 23 6 148 165 54
14 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
15 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Larkin 51 18 19 25 37
H. Zetterberg 52 9 25 2 34
T. Tatar 51 15 17 -2 32
G. Nyquist 52 14 15 -2 29
J. Abdelkader 52 14 12 -4 26
P. Datsyuk 37 6 20 11 26
M. Green 46 4 17 -7 21
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
B. Richards 38 5 10 6 15
D. DeKeyser 48 6 8 12 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 19 10 4 .932 2.03
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89