Abel to Yzerman
by Paul on 01/30/14 at 09:49 AM ET
from Bob Wojnowski of the Detroit News,
“One of the best things that might have happened to this organization is us being so injured,” Babcock said. “What I mean is, we get to see these kids on the ice, so you know what’s in the cupboard. They’ve been way better than I thought. I’m optimistic now that we don’t have to fall off the map and go through misery for 10 years like others do. I see great things coming.”
With all he’s accomplished, Babcock reasonably could be hitting the age of entrenchment and entitlement. He’s the best coach in Detroit sports since Bowman, and he’ll guide Team Canada in the upcoming Sochi Olympics, hunting for a second gold medal.
But the transition here just might invigorate him. He’s trying to change as his team changes, a delicate process. He’s demanding in a high-pressure environment and some players don’t like it, but no coach survives on fear without being fair.
“If you walk in our dressing room today, a lot of guys are (ticked) off at me, and they’re probably different than the ones (ticked) off last week,” Babcock said. “Normally, they’re the ones that aren’t playing. One thing I can’t do is confuse the player with the person. I love the people, but they don’t pay me to evaluate that. They pay me to evaluate the player. I have to base my decisions on what I see, shift to shift, game to game.”
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