NOHS Note: Twig took a long time this morning and pointed out why he thinks we should fire Babbles. Here's my rebuttal...
Twig, I like you buddy, but I think you're nuts. Completely, bat-sh!t insane. Like keep this fella away from pointy objects, you're a regular Gary Busey insane.
So, let's take a look at this. Step one - the standings. You’ll find Detroit tied for the last playoff position in the West. Not great, I agree.
Now take a look at the roster. You won’t see the Cup contender roster that you are used to. You’ll see a roster that likely is a 5th-8th place team with a 12th place defensive core. Most of all, no Lidstrom. Forwards look decent though right?
Then take a look at the injury list. Once your jaw can be picked up off the floor, look again and remember we’ve been playing this season with St. Louis’ sloppy seconds on defense and Grand Rapids making up our forward lines.
Suddenly, that 8th place spot doesn’t look so bad. In fact, with our defense, I’d say it looks pretty good. Good enough that others are calling Babcock as a favorite to win the Jack Adams thus far.
Hit the jump for more on Babcock and why he's doing an excellent job so far:
Now Twig brings up some good points. I couldn’t disagree more with how Babbles handled Commodore and Modano-neither was really given a fair shake. And I can’t stand Babbles belief that Abdelkader is a third liner, let alone a second or first line guy. He hasn’t been an NHLer in my mind in two years. I’ve got a post brewing sometime here soon that bears that out too. And finally I’d like to see more trust in some of the new guys. I don’t hate Cleary like many of you out there, but I think he’s a third liner nowadays at best. I’d rather see Tatar get that shot and he’s certainly earned it with his play thus far.
But many of his other points are really just disagreements with a few line changes. Sure, I’d like to see the first line guys out after a long shift for the other teams, but noticing that once in a while it’s the fourth line after an icing doesn’t make one a bad coach. And neither does trusting the new guys that Twig is also arguing should get a shot at some tough minutes and have played very well. If that puck doesn’t go in against St. Louis, no one notices that Andersson is on the ice, nor does he get the credit for that move. It’s unfortunate that it goes the other way in that situation, but the new guys gotta learn sometime. It’s a no win situation for Babbles.
I bet 10 years ago fans were going crazy with Bowman’s decisions as well. Remember Fedorov on the point?
What a picture.
I think Detroit’s played hard hockey so far this year (for the most part) and I believe Babcock is the reason behind much of it. I’ve read too much about how our Uncle Mike’s practices are some of the toughest and fastest in the league to believe that he’s not a good coach. I haven’t seen anything looking like he’s lost the players. And I like his use of Tatar and the rest of the Griffs so far this year. Tatar and Brunner have earned their playing time. (BTW, if Tatar gets sent down, I take everything about this article back…)
I love Babcock’s matter of fact attitude on things. You never see him complain or make an excuse. I’d be embarrassed if we had Michel Therrien as a coach, that whiney baby. Babcock is no nonsense and no BS, all day, every day.
And to his final point, I don’t believe that changing the coach will help the Wings. Sure, it’s worked before. But then the teams ended up with a better coach out of the deal. There’s no better coach available today. Renney? That didn’t exactly work out with the immense talent in Edmonton. Why would it with less talent here? There’s a reason why he was picked as the coach of Team Canada. Everyone knows he’s good.
Plus, the stability that Detroit has in its coaching staff I think makes it a more attractive place to play. So does the fact that we’ve got perhaps the best coach in the league.
So it’s easy to say that we are struggling and play Monday morning quarterback. But in reality, this could be so much worse. The ship has been leaking this year and while Babcock might not have been able to walk on water and part the red sea, he has done a bang-up job at fixing the leaks.
So fire Babcock? Hell no. If the Wings make the playoffs, give him the Jack Adams.
Just look at what happened to Washington. They had a great coach, constantly in the top 3 at the end of the year, just didn't have the right team for the playoffs. They were too offensive minded and not defensive enough. Happens a few years in a row, so they fire the coach. Now look at them. They are terrible. And who gets their coach? Anaheim. And they are playing great.
If you fire Babcock, we turn into the Caps, and another team who has been playing terribly all of a sudden becomes good.
I don't like Cleary in the top 6 anymore than you guys do this year. But it's not like we have many options with all the injuries (we have almost double the man games lost than the next closest team). He was finally going to be moved to the 3rd line and Sammy gets injured (again). Tatar has been great, but he's been great on the 3rd line. If you take him off the 3rd line, it sucks again. The third line didn't do squat until Cleary was removed from it. It's obvious from last night, that Datsyuk can be a one man wrecking crew and doesn't even need linemates. Sure, I'd love it if they gave him a sniper, but I think they feel Tatar can help the third line more than Cleary can hamper the second line. Besides, once people return from IR, Cleary won't be able to fit in on the first two lines.
And it wasn't mentioned anywhere here that I noticed, but all over Mlive people are talking about how Fil was terrible last night. What am I missing? I thought he had one of his best games all season (aside from passing when he should have shot). He was skating great with the puck, I felt he was doing great along the boards. I don't see what people are complaining about.
I'm far more pro-Babcock than against him. He's made some questionable decisions in the past, but we don't have any idea what's going on in the locker room. Babcock knows when guys are hurt and knows what state the team is in. He also knows what the players are saying. It isn't that we just have injuries... it's that we have injuries to guys who are extremely important to us in the current way the team is built. Yes, Bertuzzi, Franzen, Helm, and hell... even Colaiacovo are important. Without them, we're just not as good. This team was never going to challenge for the President's trophy... just wash that from your minds people. The goal should be to just straight up win without worrying which position we fall in the standings. Just win. This is a throwaway season. I like the current experimentation given some of the terrible results. Babcock seems to be staying on top of it pretty well. I don't see who we could get to replace him at such a level. I sure as hell don't want to be a Dallas Stars team that hasn't been respectable in quite a while. If you replace the coach or replace Holland, we'll be headed that way. Stability is key even when the team is unstable. I highly doubt Tatar gets sent down. But, if he does, I'm not angry unless the guy who takes his place just straight up sucks. I don't see that happening yet. Pro-Babcock and pro-Holland... all day every day.
Remember Fedorov on defense? Or Dandenault given somewhere around 8 years of playing time as a forward cause they thought he had "potential" Babs actually took a lot of his style from Bowman.
do i look like i need a psychological evaluation!? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCId3kjWPs8
Not basing my opinion on this one season. He has slipped for a few years now. As for being an attractive place to play, we've had one great FA signing in 7 years. Hossa. Two if you count Brunner. How attractive is this team again? I come across spoiled because I am. I'm addicted to winning and don't want us to become a third world hockey team. If that means changing the coaching staff, go for it.
@Twig Talking to people that work downtown... a TON is riding on the new arena. They want to use that plus have a playoff team to attract FA's. IMO, the team has done a poor job of convincing all players to come to Detroit and play. Then again... Detroit has done a shitty job of convincing people to move here too who aren't hockey players. ... Go figure.
If you don't think Tatar is getting sent down, then please tell me which of his chosen ones are going to be put on waivers. We've got far too many people up right now from GR if everyone were healthy, so when everyone comes back, who goes down? Just talking forwards, Franzen, Bertuzzi, and Helm will be back sooner or later. Andersson, Tatar, Abby, Cleary, Emmerton, and Miller are the only realistic possibilities from the lineup last game to go down. Eaves was already scratched (which was ignorant).
So of that list, who *should* go down, and who *will* go down? I would really like your take on that, because I think Cleary, Abby, Andersson, and Miller should go down with Eaves coming up to join the injury crew. That isn't going to happen though. You know KH and Babs are going to send Tatar down (even if only for his bypassing of waivers to save whoever else), so the only hope of keeping him is more injury problems.
@ThroatShot Andersson will go back down. Someone will also get hurt between now and the end of the season. It's not if... it's when. This team will not be 100% at any point. I'm pretty sure they proved that after week 1. The biggest thing is to just stay alive, in the hunt, and get some good chemistry going to generate wins. It's a constant cycle we've only seemed to have noticed in the last 3-4 years mainly due to having huge guys that perform and can be on the ice for all 82+playoffs.