By Bill Houlihan
So, I guess if your team is in the midst of a seven-game winning streak, playing the league's most stifling defense and leading their division, strife in the room is sure to follow.
No? Yeah, I find it a bit hard to imagine myself.
But, hey, that hasn't stopped Andy Strickland (a self-ackowledged "expert on all things Blues") from claiming today that trouble's on the horizon in Hockeytown and it'll arrive by Christmas.
Yep. Andy, writing for Dwayne Klessel's Clearing House For Crap, AKA HockeyBuzz, says he has an in, a mole, an insider, feeding him info from deep within Joe Louis Arena. Young Andy says "someone close to the organization" has pulled him aside and said Mike Babcock's days could very well be numbered.
Andy says Babcock's being called to Daddy's office weekly to discuss the team with Kenny Holland, that "star players are complaining to management" and, get this, that Nick Lidstrom is leading the revolt.
Ohhhhh..now it makes sense. Now that Lidstrom's involved I can see it. Nick Lidstrom, the rebel. Lidstrom, the muck raker.
Andy says Lidstrom's instructed his teammates to stay silent during specialty team meetings (those same meetings that could perhaps lead to improving Detroit's 27th ranked power play).
This would be the same Nick Lidstrom who played for one Scott Bowman, a true trailblazer in mind-gamesmanship, for seven years.
So, the crux of this issue…just weeks after Marty McSorley was blasted in two countries for making similar claims? Who's your source Andy? Give us a hint. Drop a name, title, organizational standing on us. Exec, player, trainer, reporter? Something other than "someone close". I know you don't have to provide it because, frankly, no one ever does over at Dwayne's Brothel of BS.
But, Andy? I have a sneaking suspicion who your source is. Let's see…who would have an axe to grind in St. Louis? Who has a well-deserved reputation of seeking out microphones like a Pred fan to a possum filet (just made that up…thanks)?
Andy, if your "source" is Manny Legace, you may want to ask him who HIS sources are. I'm not sure his ex-teammates would be real willing to chat with The Mouth, considering one of the last images they have of him was the prone position of martyrdom in an Edmonton crease. See, he kinda left on bad terms.
Is there a chance the Wing players don't give Mike Babcock tummy rubs before practice every day? Yep. They may not enjoy playing for him. But, here's the thing Andy. They're playing his style, and they're playing it well, and they're winning. If the Wings were, say, dropping down the tough Central standings like the Blues, there may be some validity to an unnamed source telling you the Wings will "implode by Christmas."
But all you've given us today is a standard Dwayne Klessel menu item…unattributed, sourceless, rumor.