"Every year you have lulls, you have stretches where emotionally you just aren't there. But we have to understand, we can't afford a lull. We have six games left before the Olympic break, and they are huge for us. We need points."--Mike Babcock
That's what he told the Detroit News after a hard-skating practice right now. Apparently, now that most of the physical woes are starting to subside, it's the mental side of things that need to heal for the Wings.
The bench boss went on...
"We have to skate better. That's not a physical thing, that's a mental thing. Our engagement and our execution have to be better if we are going to play at a high level. It's great that all this skill is back, don't get me wrong. But we've got to get them skating. It's great to come back but you've got to play at an NHL pace. That takes time and the way this schedule is, the inability to practice doesn't help them. We're not only giving up a lot of shots, but we have no rhythm to our game. By that I mean, when you are turning the puck over, you never get skating and you look slow. It's execution. When all of a sudden we don't know how to pass a puck or be in the right spots -- that's mental."
So they skated yesterday. They'll take a nice long break once the Olympics start...some of them anyway. A good, crisp, practice does wonders for those who are trying to get back into the rhythm. Don't get me wrong, Babcock didn't bag-skate them for an hour plus. Short, hard working practices could be just what the doctor ordered. Especially for trips all the way across the country. Trips that guys like Rosby and Ryan Miller make but about once a year.
Holmstrom returns tonight. And as such, we're getting ready to start icing two legitimate scoring threats out there on the PP...which is nice.
On the menu tonight: sushi.