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Afternoon Line

He is the best and most consistent coach in the game. He is probably the NHL’s equivalent of Don Shula, the legendary Hall of Fame coach of the Baltimore Colts and Miami Dolphins. Bum Phillips once said Shula could take “his’n and beat your’n, and then take your’n and beat his’n.” While Phillips was grammatically challenged, it’s clear what he meant and the same thing applies to Babcock.

In addition to being a Stanley Cup winner, he has also won Olympic gold as Canada’s head coach in 2010, and he was selected to serve in that capacity again in 2014. When it comes to motivation, teaching, strategy and matchups, Babcock is without peer.

No team gave the Blackhawks more of a run for their money than the undermanned Detroit Red Wings, and the Blackhawks and the rest of the Western Conference are thrilled that the Wings have moved to the Eastern Conference.

-Steve Silverman of CBS Chicago on ranking Mike Babcock as the #1 coach in the NHL.  Continue reading for coaches #2-5...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+babcock

Comments

Evilpens's avatar

wait ..... where is Dan(Jack Adams)Bylsma LOL

Posted by Evilpens on 07/27/13 at 03:18 PM ET

Fugazi's avatar

I’m not happy the Red Wings moved to the East.

Just sayin’

Posted by Fugazi from Bay Area, Left Coast on 07/27/13 at 05:14 PM ET

w2j2's avatar

He is exactly correct about Babcock.

However, it was the Red Wings who beat on the Blackhawks game after game until the Hawks had to play their best
Without the Wings in the West,  who will kick them in the @$$?

Posted by w2j2 on 07/27/13 at 05:33 PM ET

Avatar

For good reasons having to do with off ice issues, it was a reasonable move for Detroit to go to the east. I suspect on the ice Detroit may regret leaving the west.  Why mess with success?  Detroit has been the dominant team in the west for 20 years and has won numerous cups in that time. I tend to believe if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. Detroit has now left the west to Chicago for sole dominance. While in the east, regardless of how good Detroit plays, they will always be fifth fiddle to the eastern media. Toronto, NYR, Boston and Philadelphia will remain the dominant media franchises in the east, regardless of how good Detroit is as a team. As for the style of play, the west has shown that its focus on speed first and size second, is the winning model. The east has focused on defense then size first, speed is secondary. I am not sure this syle change would be good for Detroit.

That all being said I understand why they wanted to move to the east, but history may look back and say it was a turning point for the franchise, and not one they will like.

Posted by timbits on 07/27/13 at 05:37 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

The east has focused on defense then size first, speed is secondary. I am not sure this syle change would be good for Detroit.

Take a look at this year’s draft picks and I think you’ll see that Detroit is preparing for its future in the East. They may struggle a bit at first, but they’ll adapt.

I also think next summer’s roster moves will be aimed at adding bigger bodies, players who will both compliment and defend the smaller forwards like Nyquist, Tatar and Jarnkrok. And both the trade deadline moves and free agent signings in the next 12 months will probably be made with the same criteria in mind.

Personally, I don’t like the move to the East because I’m simply used to the teams in the West. But the elimination of more than half of those 10:30 pm West Coast starts may change my mind by the end of the season. smile

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 07/27/13 at 07:12 PM ET

calquake's avatar

That all being said I understand why they wanted to move to the east, but history may look back and say it was a turning point for the franchise, and not one they will like.

Posted by timbits on 07/27/13 at 05:37 PM ET

That’s why they call it the “future”.  Because no one knows what it will bring.  I think I’ll be a fan no matter what happens.

Posted by calquake on 07/27/13 at 07:25 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

It will be an adjustment, but it sure was nice looking at next season’s schedule and seeing names like Buffalo, New York, Boston, Toronto, Montreal, Philadelphia on it.

And, I missed a lot of games last year due to 10 PM or later start times. Those will be few and far between this coming season.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 07/27/13 at 08:09 PM ET

Primis's avatar

The whole size and toughness thing in the East is overrated.  Who were your leading scorers in the East this past season? 

St. Louis?  Stamkos?  Crosby?  Kessel?  Kunitz?  Backstrom?

These aren’t really big guys, and they seem to have no trouble putting points up in the East.  Ovechkin does have some size to him.  So does Eric Staal.  However, they aren’t the trend on the list, smaller guys are.  So I don’t see how “size” is needed more in the East.  The guys putting the puck in the net and setting them up aren’t guys with real size.


The only tangible differences in East philosophy and West philosophy are in the way they spend their money.  The East spends bigger bucks on their stars, usually, and it often hamstrings their depth (see PIT, WAS, etc).  In the West, the stars don’t make QUITE as much generally, and leaves a bit more room for better depth.  That’s not a blanket statement that covers every single market, but it is indeed a trend.  Boston is more built like a West team IMO, as an example.

Posted by Primis on 07/28/13 at 01:51 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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