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Babcock's milestone bittersweet

Coach's 300th win overshadowed by Zetterberg injury

Thursday, 12.17.2009 / 10:33 PM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
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Babcock\'s milestone bittersweet
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DETROIT – The Red Wings’ 3-0 win over Tampa Bay on Thursday night was a bittersweet one.

The win at Joe Louis Arena was career coaching win No. 300 for Wings coach Mike Babcock, but it came at a high cost when star forward Henrik Zetterberg left in the first period after a huge open-ice hit from Lightning defenseman Mattias Ohlund.

“Obviously we have a depleted group and we had a little challenge tonight,” Babcock said. “But I think other guys stepped up and just grinded it out.”

Zetterberg, the Wings’ leading scorer this season, drove himself to a Detroit hospital for an MRI of his left shoulder.

“He’s probably upset with himself, he shouldn’t have got hit like that,” Babcock said. “But what do you do?”

If Zetterberg misses any games, he will be the ninth Red Wings’ regular to be added to the injury list, joining Dan Cleary (separated shoulder), Johan Franzen (torn ACL), Niklas Kronwall (sprained knee), Valtteri Filppula (broken wrist), Jason Williams (fractured fibula), Jonathan Ericsson (bone bruise), Darren Helm (sprained wrist) and Andreas Lilja (headaches).

Babcock, who began his NHL coaching career in Anaheim in 2002, has now compiled a 300-150-62 record. Since taking over in Detroit prior to the 2005-06 season, Babcock has led the Red Wings to a 231-88-43 record, which includes a Stanley Cup championship in 2008 and an NHL record four straight 50-win seasons.

Babcock’s 231 team wins ranks fifth in club history, trailing only Jack Adams (413 wins), Bowman (410), Sid Abel (340) and Tommy Ivan (262).

It took Babcock 612 NHL games to reach the 300 win milestone. In comparison, it took legendary hall of fame coach Scotty Bowman 552 games to collect victory No. 300 in the NHL.

Babcock got career win No. 200 on Dec. 15, 2007. It took 166 games for him to reach 300 on Thursday night.

Rookie goalie Jimmy Howard, who recorded his first career shutout after stopping 30 Lightning shots, was asked if he would fight Babcock for the game puck.

“Nah, he can have it,” said Howard with a smile. “It’s a lot bigger milestone than this.”

Because of his success at both the NHL and international levels, Babcock was tabbed again by Team Canada to serve as coach of the Canadian team in the Winter Olympics in Vancouver in February.




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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 49 36 9 4 161 110 76
2 FLA 51 31 15 5 141 112 67
3 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
4 NYR 51 28 18 5 146 132 61
5 BOS 51 27 18 6 149 136 60
6 NYI 49 26 17 6 134 121 58
7 DET 51 25 18 8 125 130 58
8 NJD 52 26 20 6 117 118 58
9 PIT 50 25 18 7 129 128 57
10 CAR 53 24 21 8 129 141 56
11 PHI 49 23 18 8 117 128 54
12 MTL 52 24 24 4 137 141 52
13 OTT 52 23 23 6 142 164 52
14 TOR 50 19 22 9 116 134 47
15 BUF 52 21 26 5 119 137 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Larkin 50 17 18 23 35
H. Zetterberg 51 9 25 2 34
T. Tatar 50 14 16 -3 30
G. Nyquist 51 14 13 -4 27
J. Abdelkader 51 14 12 -4 26
P. Datsyuk 36 6 18 10 24
M. Green 45 3 17 -8 20
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
D. DeKeyser 47 6 8 10 14
R. Sheahan 50 7 6 -15 13
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 18 10 4 .931 2.06
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89