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Babcock Presser: If Bert Can’t Go, Hudler’s In

Mike Babcock faced the NHL media today. One of the issues was the status of Todd Bertuzzi.

Q.  What’s the status of Todd Bertuzzi?
 
COACH MIKE BABCOCK:  He’s got spasms, I don’t know how you describe it.  He’s got something wrong with his back.  He couldn’t - he played until I think about partway through the third last night, if I’m not mistaken.  About ten minutes left and then he couldn’t go.  So he was feeling a little better here this morning.  Piet chose to keep him out, but I think he’ll be ready tomorrow.

 
Q.  If he can’t, will you go with Hudler?
 
COACH MIKE BABCOCK:  Yes.

Read more for the entire transcript.

COACH MIKE BABCOCK
 
Q.  Is this basically the way you remember Giggy playing in the ‘03 playoff run?
 
COACH MIKE BABCOCK:  I haven’t spent a whole lot of time thinking about that.  Their team is different than the team was in ‘03 because of the fact that their team is way better.  Our team had to rely in the first round on Giggy, and then as our confidence built we could play good defense, but it’s not like we had any - their team has weapons.  Our team didn’t have that at all.
 
So totally different kind of look at it, and I think the focus was different but he’s been here before, just like Dom has.  They’ve been here before.

 
Q.  What’s the status of Todd Bertuzzi?
 
COACH MIKE BABCOCK:  He’s got spasms, I don’t know how you describe it.  He’s got something wrong with his back.  He couldn’t - he played until I think about partway through the third last night, if I’m not mistaken.  About ten minutes left and then he couldn’t go.  So he was feeling a little better here this morning.  Piet chose to keep him out, but I think he’ll be ready tomorrow.

 
Q.  If he can’t, will you go with Hudler?
 
COACH MIKE BABCOCK:  Yes.

 
Q.  You may have been asked this, the power play, what did you think of it yesterday?
 
COACH MIKE BABCOCK:  We didn’t score on it.  So you always want to score on your power play.  We had a five-on-three opportunity where we got the puck in the zone and we shot it.  Giggy thought it was in the net.  Reaching behind him.  Didn’t go in.  Great opportunity with Holmstrom.  We had a couple of opportunities but it didn’t score.  And they got a six-on-four.  They got a power play, and we failed to get it out twice and shot it off our stick and it went in.
 
I think the specialty teams - our power play has been real good in the series, scored lots of goals.  Didn’t score it last night.  At the end, it cost us a game, if you want to look at it that way.

 
Q.  Especially the last game or two, you’ve seen what Giguere’s obviously done this time of year.  What’s made it such a challenge, or how much of a challenge is he at this moment?
 
COACH MIKE BABCOCK:  Well, I never even - prior to coming down here today, it’s not like I thought to myself, oh, we’re playing against Giggy.  I thought we were just playing against the team that’s playing hard.  And I thought offense for both teams, there was very little on the rush.  We had three three-on-twos in the game.
 
There’s not much off the rush.  It’s more off the grind, off the cycle from behind the net.  And defenders help these goalies a lot.  Unless you get something clean at them, it’s going to be tough.  You just gotta keep battling.

 
Q.  A lot has been made of the old guys on your team, the experience they have.  In some ways is there some part of you that thinks that this might be the last best chance for some of the older players on the team to win a Stanley Cup, Chelios, Hasek, and those guys?
 
COACH MIKE BABCOCK:  I should have prepared more for this conference.  I never thought about - they’re not quitting anytime soon.  They think they’re good.  And they are good.  They’re determined.  And, you know, I guess our focus here today totally is about we have to get prepared to play Game 6.  We think we played well in Game 3, the one we won.  We thought we had every opportunity.  Game 4 we thought we had some blunders, but every opportunity.  Game 5, I don’t think anybody - we had every opportunity.
 
Do good things, good things will happen, be determined, and let’s go after them.

 
Q.  Is there a sense of maybe your guys’ back are on the wall, what do you feel the mood is right now?
 
COACH MIKE BABCOCK:  The mood is we gotta win a game.  If you don’t win, you don’t get to play anymore.  That’s what the playoffs come down to.  You don’t win, you don’t get to play.  We’ve got a pretty confident, determined group.  Like I said, it would be a totally different thing if I was in my locker room and we’ve been outplayed three games in a row and we’re just - I don’t know, I mean, everybody sees things the way they want.  But the way I see things is our club’s had every opportunity and we just gotta keep driving.

 
Q.  Do you feel that, generally speaking, the team that works hard and plays the best is always rewarded?  Or do you think there’s examples where they’re not?
 
COACH MIKE BABCOCK:  I’m a bigger believer in life that’s how you approach everything.  So the guy who works the hardest and reports the story the best and writes it the best gets the best job.
 
And when you live your life that way, good things are going to happen to you.  And when you hang your head when something goes wrong, I got no time for that stuff.  Never have.  Our team doesn’t either.
 
Like I said, be determined.  Let your will show and keep at her.  And when you do good things, in the end good things happen.  You gotta earn your breaks.

 
Q.  How tough has it been to stay positive?  You guys have clearly outplayed Anaheim for the last two games, don’t have a win to show for it.  Is that difficult?
 
COACH MIKE BABCOCK:  If I had to spend a bunch of time with you guys, it would be way tough (laughing).  In the world I’m living in, it’s way brighter than it is in here.

 
Q.  You said what you believe about work.  Do you believe in luck?  A lot of people are looking at this as Anaheim is fortunate to be up two games to three here?
 
COACH MIKE BABCOCK:  I believe you make your own luck.  I believe over the haul - can things go wrong?  Absolutely things can go wrong.  I’m not here today answering these questions because I believe that you let something that goes wrong deter where you’re going.
 
I’m here and our players are here, and players playing in the National Hockey League believe they’re in control.  We believe we’re in control and we’ve got to put our best foot forward.  You do that - we’re not going away easy, I can tell you that right now.  Actually, we’re not going away.

 
Q.  You’ve got a lot of guys that have won the Stanley Cup, a lot of guys down three games to two and have come back.  How important a factor is experience heading into a do-or-die game with Game 6?
 
COACH MIKE BABCOCK:  I think when you have experience, it’s real important; when you don’t have it, you think it’s overrated.  And the bottom line is the proof’s in the pudding.  You gotta deliver.  I think experience is real important.  I think poise is real important.  I think poise is a weapon.  And we have to continue to do what we do.
 
And, you know, I think sometimes in big situations you put pressure on yourself, and that’s not what it’s about.  You put pressure on the other team by getting after them.

 
Q.  Do goaltenders get in scorer’s heads and is Giggy in there with your scorers?
 
COACH MIKE BABCOCK:  I don’t think so.  I don’t think our guys see it that way at all.  Like I said prior, before coming down here today, I wasn’t thinking like that at all.

 
Q.  The plays Kopecky has been making, the chances he’s been getting and the skating he’s been doing, do you look at him as a guy who is on the verge of being a big-time player?
 
COACH MIKE BABCOCK:  That’s true, Jimmy Nill does such a great job in Detroit because we never seem to have any picks find these players.  And Jimmy was real scared at the start of the year.  We’d bring him up and he wouldn’t get to play and we’d turn him into a checker.
 
So it has nothing to do with the coaches.  He’s determined.  He’s talented.  He can skate.  He’s playing against Niedermayer a lot.  So he can skate and he’s strong on the puck and he’s got good vision.  Just gotta work on his shot.  But he’s going to be the real deal.  And a difference maker if he continues to get better.

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Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com