Babcock’s Greatest Season?


Greg Eno, of Madison Heights, submitted a column to the Detroit Free Press, and they thought it was good enough to be published.  Greg gives his opinions of the strange mannerisms of the great NHL hockey coach:

When he stands behind the bench, he always looks as if he’s trying to remember if he left the stove on and seems to have to go to the bathroom.

He talks about characteristics of Scotty Bowman:

Bowman, a legendary coach with nine Stanley Cup rings, had a lockjaw and the posture of a British Beefeater. It could be Game 7 of the Cup Finals and with Bowman, you’d find more emotion on a frog.


And about our Uncle Mike:

He always looks like he can’t find his keys.  Babcock has the typical face of a former hockey player: chiseled, scarred, the texture of leather. His hair is unkempt and his clothes fit him like a paper doll’s.

While I disagree outright about the the unkempt hair and I don’t know what paper doll clothing fits like anyway, but here is the crux of what Greg was getting at when talking about Mike Babcock:

His greatest season wasn’t in 2008, when he brought the Cup back to Detroit. It wasn’t last year, when he nearly did it again.  This is his greatest season. Babcock should get the Jack Adams Award for coach of the year.

We all know that Dave Tippet is winning the Jack Adams award this year.  If getting Detroit a Stanley Cup in 2008 wasn’t good enough, if getting them within one game of repeating as champs wasn’t good enough, what chance does Babcock have of finishing 5th in the Conference (maybe) regardless of how they do in the play-offs?  Meanwhile you have the NHL-owned Phoenix franchise and Gary wants them to get as much good press as possible…it’s a lock.

A few things to consider about Mike Babcock this season:

  1. We currently sit 6th in the Conference even though we’ve lost the second most man games of any other team in the NHL…the only team that has more, is ranked 30th.
  2. He made the decision to ride the rookie goalie instead of the aged veteran, and that rookie is top 4 in save percentage and goals-against average.
  3. Responded well to the “get Gold or die” pressure during thte Olympics…and he delivered (not NHL criteria per se, but something to consider)
  4. Solidified two solid scoring lines by switching Val Filppula over to the wing with Zetterberg and Bertuzzi

You can leave as many pros and cons as you want.  But I think it’s worth discussing…