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Coach Babcock Talks On An Off-Day

Q. Mike, Brian Campbell labeled the Kronwall move as gutless. Whats your response to that?

        MIKE BABCOCK: I thought it was a great hockey hit. I thought it was a great hockey hit. So far from being gutless it’s not even funny. He did it right. He didn’t leave his feet. The puck was right in between the guy’s feet. I mean, no way.

        Q. Can you update Draper, Datsyuk, their situations for tomorrow? If Draper can’t play, who would replace him?

        MIKE BABCOCK: Draper can’t play. Abbie is going to go in his spot. Be good for him. Play his natural position. Datsyuk is going to be the same thing as it was the day before. We’ll see. I noticed his stuff was hanging up. They’re hoping they can get him in his boot and get him going.

Q. In a general sense, and not specific to the last night’s hit, do you have any stance on the debate over head shots?

        MIKE BABCOCK: Well, to me that was a finished check. To me, that wasn’t a head shot. So I don’t think you should be hunting anyone’s head. I don’t think you should be elbowing anybody in the head. But I also think it’s a physical game. I don’t think you should be cross?checking guys in the head. I think that’s real important.

        But I also think it’s a contact sport. And the puck was coming around the wall. He saw it coming. He turned, chose not to play it with his stick, was letting it come through his feet. Kronwall stepped up on it. That’s hockey.

        Q. The blanket suggestion that any shot that lands on the head, whether it’s intentional or not…

        MIKE BABCOCK: I guess to me, you hit the guy in the head, you hang out your elbow, hit the guy in the head, you’re headhunting for him, like when he’s… But that to me is not what I saw there.

        So, now, good thing about it is you’re asking a biased guy. I heard Joel Quenneville talk about it. What he does is he comes in, whether he believes it or not, he tells you what he’s got to tell you. I actually believe what I’m telling you. It’s the facts.

        I mean, I went over it a hundred times. Before I came in here, I wanted to see did he leave his feet. Kroner, what he does, usually he’s got so much pop in him, he explodes through the guy. At the end of the check when he’s done, he’s off the ice.

        That wasn’t the case here at all in the situation. Anyway, enough of that. What else?

        Q. Actually the same topic.

        MIKE BABCOCK: It ought to be good (laughter).

        Q. The difference in your eyes between the hit last night and Mike Brown’s hit on Huds last round?

        MIKE BABCOCK: Well, the puck, was it not right here? So you know the answer to the question. You don’t have to ask me. You know that. What’s next?

        Q. Have you spoken about possibly getting in contact with the NHL about reviewing and/or rescinding the game misconduct?

        MIKE BABCOCK: You know, I know I haven’t. Did you read the memo that came out from the league?

        Q. No
.
        MIKE BABCOCK: I said this last night, I’ll say it again. Coaches have bad games. Players have bad games. The league doesn’t let referees have bad games. So has there ever been a bad call? Accountability.

        Q. Follow-up. Do you anticipate any fallout from this in the game tomorrow, whether things will escalate at all? Do you think that would happen?

        MIKE BABCOCK: Well, you know, I don’t worry about that very much. I mean, we’d love to go on a power play.

        Q. Can you expand on that.

        MIKE BABCOCK: Well, I mean, if you want to run around… The thing about this play, I don’t know if you’ve been following us over the years, we’re not that penalized a team. We’re not cross?checking your head after the whistle. We’re not punching you in the head. We’re not doing any of that. We’re just playing the game.

        Contact. This is the Detroit Red Wings you’re talking about, that goon squad. Contact’s part of the game.

        I don’t know. I mean, they can’t give us the five?minute penalty back. To me, that’s the only thing the league could do. Like I know they’re not starting the game over. Just because we lost Kronwall, we had to kill off the penalty, then we lost him for ?? what time was the penalty called? So a chunk of the game. I mean, that’s quite the penalty, I’d say.

        And the reason why everyone was waiting outside, the referee, supervisors, the media people, because they thought it was a wrong call, too.

        Q. So close, going for the jugular last night, if you score in overtime, 3-0. Now more of a fight to get going.

        MIKE BABCOCK: Anyone who was won the prize knows how hard it is. The greatest thing about it is, is it’s that hard to do. It’s supposed to be hard. It’s not supposed to be easy.

        We’re playing a really good team. Now, on the other side of it, I’m sure they felt like they could have won Game 2. Let’s just keep playing. I thought we had a real good second period, a real good third period. I thought the nine straight minutes on the penalty kill was very hard on our team early. Didn’t get anybody on the ice.

        You know, in that game, we should have been on a four?minute power play. Byfuglien did exactly what Cleary did, except he cut him, and he had to get stitches, so he had to miss some more time. You know, it’s a miss?call. Those things happen in hockey. I understand that totally.

        We have to have a better start tomorrow. But we’re looking forward to tomorrow’s game. I thought the atmosphere in here was fantastic. Last night, I thought it was a good hockey game. I thought our team really dug in. I mean, it could have been easy over. We dug in, give ourselves an opportunity. We had tons of opportunity to shoot the puck in the third period. For whatever reason, we wouldn’t. Should have made it harder on the goalie. We’ll try to do that tomorrow.

        Q. You mentioned a memo from the league. What did it say?

        MIKE BABCOCK: I don’t know if it’s a memo. ‘Memo’ might be the wrong word. Maybe I’m getting myself in hot water here. Maybe I’ll just stop.

        Wasn’t there a release?

        Q. I don’t think there was. I think Kris King talked to us.

        MIKE BABCOCK: Maybe there wasn’t. Maybe I’m making it up. No, I don’t know.

        Q. But you believe what you’re saying?

        MIKE BABCOCK: I believe what I’m saying.

        Q. Coach, you saw a lot of Huet during the course of the year. If you face him again, does it do your team well to have seen him so much during the season?

        MIKE BABCOCK: I think you always like to know who you’re playing against. We’ve seen him for a number of seasons. He’s a good goaltender. I said it last night.  They brought him to Chicago to be the guy. Khabibulin beat him out.

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

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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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