The Debate – Part 2: Fire Babcock? You’re Nuts. He Might Be Coach of the Year

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.