Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

He’s No Adams, But Uncle Mike Is The X Factor Tonite

Naturally, because he's the coach of the Detroit Red Wings, Mike Babcock wasn't nominated for the Jack Adams award.  Joel Quenneville, with the most talented team in hockey, was.  Babcock, even before the Anaheim series, has been brilliant all along.  He raised the little puppies when all (ok...many) of us thought he was literally trying to get fired.  He recovered from the most potentially damaging personnel loss in recent hockey history.  Without Nick Lidstrom he created a young defense that will be the best in the East for a decade.  

And I can't say this enough, obviously: he's sitting veterans in favor of youngsters and it's paid off again and again.  It's a kind of insane genius I'll never comprehend and really can't get over. 

Scott Bowman he's not, because playing kids this late goes against everything Bowman believed in.  And, honestly, Bowman never coached a Red Wing team that required this kind of creative leadership.

Despite that, Babcock is as close to a Bowman clone as this league has ever seen.  Maybe not on a white board, but in the uncomfortable spots players don't like to talk about at parties.  Babcock is deep, deep, deep in their heads and he knows precisely what buttons to push at just the right time.  

And that's why this thing ends tonite.  It ends tonite because Uncle Mike has used this line, or something close, for two days.

Remember?

"I told the team that they would rue the day if they didn't show up and play the game of their lives," coach Scotty Bowman said after the victory.

That was in 1997.  The Wings had just lost to Denver, in Denver, 6-0.  Roy was blabbing to anyone who would listen that we'd all just have to see if the Wings were willing to "pay the price".  Well, they did.  Bowman was in their heads. Every player knew this opporunity, if wasted, would haunt them forever.  

The circumstances were not identical.  The Wings were supremely talented, but underachieving.  The Dive were young while Detroit was aging (allegedly).  

But now, nearly 2 decades later, with not a single '97 champ remaining, the similiarities lie with the coaches.  There is no way Joel Quenneville can keep up with what Mike Babcock has in store. Even with the old master somewhere in that organization, tinkering and suggesting.  He's not there to make the immediate move, the required quick decision.  Joel Quenneville is not a quick-decision kind of guy.  

So it ends tonite.  

Just like that series did in '97. On Memorial Day.

Enjoy your day.  Remember those who gave everything so all of us can stress about hockey.

And do this, Wings.  

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Comments

IwoCPO's avatar

Here’s a ditty I didn’t mention in the post: that game 6 in Detroit?  They outshot Denver 41 to 16.  Unbelievable. That’s how you close a fuching series.

Posted by IwoCPO from Sunny San Diego, bitches on 05/27/13 at 12:11 PM ET

Avatar

Scott Bowman he’s not, because playing kids this late goes against everything Bowman believed in.

Other than Osgood, Sillinger, McCarty, Fischer, Lapointe, Draper, Ward, Kozlov, Dandenault, Eriksson, Holmstrom and a few more, nah, Bowman didn’t play relatively inexperienced kids in critical situations.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 05/27/13 at 12:22 PM ET

IwoCPO's avatar

Posted by HockeyinHD on 05/27/13 at 12:22 PM ET

Aw, looks who’s back to spread his pharmacist’s smarts for us on this sunny day. Would Scotty have sat Bertuzzi, White and Sammy tonite? No? I didn’t think so.

Are you cranky again today, Eddie?  No pals to BBQ with? That’s a shocker.

Have a happy and a healthy.

Posted by IwoCPO from Sunny San Diego, bitches on 05/27/13 at 12:28 PM ET

stonehands-78's avatar

thanks, Chief.

Remember those who gave everything so all of us can stress about hockey.

Amen ...

L.G.R.W.

Posted by stonehands-78 from the beginning ... a WingsFan, on 05/27/13 at 12:50 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

 Joel Quenneville is not a quick-decision kind of guy.  

according to the NBC announcers, he makes in-game changes before the game.

hmmm

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 05/27/13 at 12:53 PM ET

awould's avatar

My thoughts are that Babcock is playing these youngsters because they’re the future and this kind of experience will pay off 10 fold in the regular season next year and beyond. The fact that they’ve gelled and are winning is a testament to the development and coaching they’ve had all along. I don’t know that Babcock has a crystal ball. Not that it takes away from the excellent coaching, and it also should be pointed out that nearly zero other coaches in the league would have taken a risk like this. Much easier to lose with veteran players and let them shoulder the blame. Losing with youngsters puts most of it on the coach.

He definitely deserves to be nominated for the Adams award, and if it included the post-season run, he’d win it. Quenneville getting any recognition for coaching the Blackhawks is laughable. They started out as one of the top teams and then made it through the season as one of the only teams to not suffer debilitating injuries. All they did was meet expectations.

Posted by awould on 05/27/13 at 01:01 PM ET

Tony Perkis's avatar

Naturally, because he’s the coach of the Detroit Red Wings, Mike Babcock wasn’t nominated for the Jack Adams award.  Joel Quenneville, with the most talented team in hockey, was.

Hilarious.

Enjoy your day.  Remember those who gave everything so all of us can stress about hockey.

Second that Amen. Absolutely. Thank you and all who served/serve.

Off topic but I’m a huge Patrick Robinson fan, Chief. I was always curious, do people in the Navy/etc. read fiction about what they do? Love his books.

 

 

 

Posted by Tony Perkis from Drinking at Robert's Lounge with Billy Batts on 05/27/13 at 01:03 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Joel Quenneville is not a quick-decision kind of guy.

Aye.  He can’t even do a hamstring stretch without Bowman looking over his shoulder.

Let’s just play.

 

 

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 05/27/13 at 01:10 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

Thanks Chief.

Happy Memorial Day to you and yours!

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 05/27/13 at 01:12 PM ET

Primis's avatar

I’ve seen some interviews and read some articles in the last month on Babcock and I have to admit, I’ve gained a little more perspective and perhaps respect for Babcock than previously.  Nobody seems to come out and say it directly I think…, but the implication in all of it is that this season, for the first time in the NHL career, Babcock had to change how he coaches.  He had to embrace the younger team, and couldn’t treat them all like thick-skinned vets.  The Death Stare isn’t the only way.

I was surprised to see NBC pulled out a graphic on Quenneville’s playoff futility in Game 5.

I’m so ready for tonight.

Posted by Primis on 05/27/13 at 01:17 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

He had to embrace the younger team, and couldn’t treat them all like thick-skinned vets.

he actually said it’s more fun to coach young players, because they want to learn.  he said the aging veteran whose skills are waning and needs to change his game but refuses to is the worst - they don’t listen.

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 05/27/13 at 01:19 PM ET

MOWingsfan19's avatar

There is no comparison between Q and Uncle Mike, plain and simple.
Now let’s finish this shit tonight.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 05/27/13 at 01:23 PM ET

Zqto's avatar

Aw, looks who’s back to spread his pharmacist’s smarts for us on this sunny day. Would Scotty have sat Bertuzzi, White and Sammy tonite? No? I didn’t think so.

Are you cranky again today, Eddie?  No pals to BBQ with? That’s a shocker.

Have a happy and a healthy.

Posted by IwoCPO

HOHOHO!! The buuuuuuurn!

Cannot get focused today… Again!
Damn this team! My beard is itchy, and I hate it. Worst part is, nobody in this entire country, besides Herm, undesrtands why Im letting it grow!

Finish this, tonight!
LGRW!!!

Posted by Zqto on 05/27/13 at 01:27 PM ET

pucksnut's avatar

btw the black hawks were picked by most to finish 4th in the confe
rence they made a couple subtle changes from roster of last year where they finished fourth in the division. The adams trophy is for regular season only, hawks 77 pts. red wings 57 pts factor in the 24 game point streak at beginning of season and that is why quenneville was nominated and wont win anyway.

Posted by pucksnut on 05/27/13 at 02:25 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

Posted by pucksnut on 05/27/13 at 02:25 PM ET

Awww, how cute, trying to justify why Detroit has your team on the ropes.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 05/27/13 at 02:30 PM ET

IwoCPO's avatar

The adams trophy is for regular season only, hawks 77 pts. red wings 57 pts factor in the 24 game point streak at beginning of season and that is why quenneville was nominated and wont win anyway.

Jesus. Way to take a stand.

Posted by IwoCPO from Sunny San Diego, bitches on 05/27/13 at 02:33 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

The adams trophy is for regular season only, hawks 77 pts. red wings 57 pts factor in the 24 game point streak at beginning of season and that is why quenneville was nominated and wont win anyway.

Posted by pucksnut on 05/27/13 at 02:25 PM ET

We know…. and it’s still a sham.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 05/27/13 at 02:37 PM ET

pucksnut's avatar

no just responding to everyone wondering why babcock wasnt nominated for adams and as far as winning it it usually doesnt go to a coach with a deep roster i think mclean will win it

Posted by pucksnut on 05/27/13 at 02:38 PM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

  Remember those who gave everything so all of us can stress about hockey.


Always, Command Master Chief. Always.


Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 05/27/13 at 02:40 PM ET

Primis's avatar

no just responding to everyone wondering why babcock wasnt nominated for adams and as far as winning it it usually doesnt go to the best coach, it goes to the best new coach, or the coach most likely to be fired in the next season because he can’t duplicate a completely lucky run from this season

Posted by pucksnut on 05/27/13 at 02:38 PM ET

Fixed.

Posted by Primis on 05/27/13 at 02:56 PM ET

Avatar

Uncle Mike owns Q.  Lets go Wings!!!!

Posted by Jeff from CO. on 05/27/13 at 03:27 PM ET

Avatar

You guys have it all wrong, Ken Holland is the one that deserves all the credit if the Wings win, you know “re-building on the fly”, just blame Babcock if they lose.

Posted by bababooey on 05/27/13 at 03:32 PM ET

monkey's avatar

You guys have it all wrong, Ken Holland is the one that deserves all the credit if the Wings win, you know “re-building on the fly”, just blame Babcock if they lose.

I like our team.

Posted by monkey from Finland on 05/27/13 at 03:52 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

My daughter just text me from Hockeytown Cafe, it seems they are already battling with Hawks fans.

Tonight could get ugly.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 05/27/13 at 03:54 PM ET

monkey's avatar

When is Patrick Kane going to demand respect as an artist then declare he is going to get a nose job and start a rap career?

Posted by monkey from Finland on 05/27/13 at 03:58 PM ET

Jeff  OKWingnut's avatar

Lets not forget to remember our troops and sailors this Memorial Day.

Thank you Chief, mostly for your day job, but for your blog too.

LGRW.

Posted by Jeff OKWingnut from Quest for 12 on 05/27/13 at 04:06 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

When is Patrick Kane going to demand respect as an artist then declare he is going to get a nose job and start a rap career?

Posted by monkey from Finland on 05/27/13 at 03:58 PM ET

Tomorrow.

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 05/27/13 at 04:06 PM ET

Primis's avatar

My daughter just text me from Hockeytown Cafe, it seems they are already battling with Hawks fans.

Tonight could get ugly.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 05/27/13 at 03:54 PM ET

They also only pop up in SW Mich. after a win it seems.  Funny thing, that.

Some of the real older Hawks fans kill me.  They want nothing but a team of Bickells and Shaws.  They’ll trade anyone and everyone away to get that.  Kane, Sharp, Toews, Hossa… all way too soft, screw em’.

Posted by Primis on 05/27/13 at 04:09 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

So it ends tonite. 

Yes, Chief.  Yes it does.

I hope all these young guys that Uncle Mike believed in and coached so brilliantly this season figure out that they need to remember every single lesson he has hammered into their heads and play their asses off tonight for the best coach in hockey.

Let’s keep Quenneville’s record of NEVER having beaten the Wings in the post-season intact.

LET’S GO RED WINGS !!!!!

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 05/27/13 at 04:09 PM ET

monkey's avatar

He’s No Adams, But Uncle Mike Is The X Factor Tonite

Jack Adams won 413 regular season games as the head coach of the Detroit Red Wings.  Mike Babcock only has 376.

Posted by monkey from Finland on 05/27/13 at 04:30 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

Players will need to skate better, hit harder, and get to pucks quicker.

Posted by RWBill from cruising Brush Street with creepy Rob Lowe. on 05/27/13 at 04:47 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

Until game time, grilling angus ribeye, making skin-mashed potatoes with leeks, bacon, and cheddar, watching Band of Brothers checked out from the library, and then will vomit everything back up when Game 6 starts.

Posted by RWBill from cruising Brush Street with creepy Rob Lowe. on 05/27/13 at 04:49 PM ET

wolverine's avatar

He had to embrace the younger team, and couldn’t treat them all like thick-skinned vets.  The Death Stare isn’t the only way.

Don’t know if anyone can remember, game 3 Detroit is up 2-0, Quincy tries to grab a flipped puck at the red line, goes over his head, and Kane scores on a breakaway.  This is early 3rd period making it 2-1.  The camera pans over to the bench, Babs is drinking a water, and I could read his lips saying to Quincy on the ice “that’s OK, that’s hockey”

Posted by wolverine on 05/27/13 at 05:11 PM ET

monkey's avatar

Don’t know if anyone can remember, game 3 Detroit is up 2-0, Quincy tries to grab a flipped puck at the red line, goes over his head, and Kane scores on a breakaway.  This is early 3rd period making it 2-1.  The camera pans over to the bench, Babs is drinking a water, and I could read his lips saying to Quincy on the ice “that’s OK, that’s hockey”

I remember Johan Franzen lying crumpled in the corner after a vicious boarding by some douche.

Posted by monkey from Finland on 05/27/13 at 05:21 PM ET

dougie's avatar

Until game time, eating leftover spaghetti, while watching other people grill on TV.

So it ends tonite. Damn well better. Let’s go, boys.

Posted by dougie on 05/27/13 at 05:27 PM ET

wolverine's avatar

I remember Johan Franzen lying crumpled in the corner after a vicious boarding by some douche.

Yup, that was the play.

Posted by wolverine on 05/27/13 at 05:30 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

You guys have it all wrong, Ken Holland is the one that deserves all the credit if the Wings win, you know “re-building on the fly”, just blame Babcock if they lose.

the whole “you don’t spend on rentals unless you’re close” thing kind of blew up in his face, didn’t it?  seems like we’re a lot closer than anyone realized, and it’s his (and Babcock’s) job to realize it first.

imagine this team with an Iginla or Jagr rental…

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 05/27/13 at 05:56 PM ET

monkey's avatar

  I remember Johan Franzen lying crumpled in the corner after a vicious boarding by some douche.

Yup, that was the play.

That’s ok, that’s hockey.

Posted by monkey from Finland on 05/27/13 at 06:29 PM ET

WestWing's avatar

NBC into some early pre-game fellatio

Wings in 6.  That is all.

Posted by WestWing from Portland, Oregon on 05/27/13 at 07:08 PM ET

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.

Smileys

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Feed

Most Recent Blog Posts

About Abel to Yzerman

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