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Post-Game 4 with Mike Babcock

Q.  You weren’t real happy with Zetterberg after 3.  Can you give us your thoughts on that one after 4?

        COACH MIKE BABCOCK:  That’s not what I said.  After 3 what I said was that the coach didn’t do a very good job, and I had some people on the ice too long.  I thought those guys are fantastic players, obviously, and they drive the bus for us.

        And but they’re like everyone else.  We all gotta be good.  When I don’t do a good enough job, you gotta ‑ you need to stand up.  When you don’t, you gotta be willing to call them out.  I thought Zetterberg was fantastic.  So was Datsyuk in that five‑on‑three, Kronwall and Lidstrom.

        In those situations, the pressure of the playoffs and the situation helps the penalty kill.  Always helps the penalty kill.  If that’s November, it’s tic‑tac‑toe and it’s in the back of your net so fast.  But the pressure makes it harder for them to execute and obviously really good players for us.

        Q.  Would those usually be the guys you would send out, you would send out Zetterberg, Kronwall and Lidstrom in that situation, would those usually be your choices?

        COACH MIKE BABCOCK:  Lilja often ends up, because he’s our best shot blocker.  Lilja often.  But Zetterberg, it’s Datsyuk, and it’s Draper up front.  And it just depends on the situation.

        And the offensive guys on our team have such great instincts.  They can cut plays off and knock down passes.  I thought they did a real good job.  They kept them at bay.

        Q.  Can you talk about that five‑on‑three, what do you recall of it, what was the mood on the bench, and what do you remember as sort of those moments of the game?

        COACH MIKE BABCOCK:  Well, first thing, I thought was I can’t believe this actually just happened.  But we talked about it after the first period.  We thought we were okay how we played.  But yet we didn’t win enough battles.  And we didn’t compete hard enough in the first, and then we competed harder and harder as the game went on.

        I thought we really competed hard on the five‑on‑three, and we have a veteran team.  And even McCarty did a great job on the bench.  Gotta give him a lot the of credit.  With six minutes left, he’s standing up telling everybody go after them don’t back up.  I think when you have veterans like that, it helps you get through situations like that.

        Q.  Can you talk specifically about two plays that Zetterberg made on the five‑on‑three, the one down low with Crosby and then the puck lugging that he managed to kill a whole bunch of time with?

        COACH MIKE BABCOCK:  It was interesting.  I was thinking of Lacrosse at that time.  I always hear my son’s coach yelling when they’re shorthanded, get a hold of it and hang onto it.  That’s what he was doing.

        They’re just gifted players, and when they compete as hard as they did tonight, they win a lot of battles.  And I thought that was a positive situation for us.

        But you know I’ve been telling people for three years how good Zetterberg is.  And so this isn’t a surprise to me.  He’s just a conscientious good two‑way player.  So is Datsyuk.  But we have a lot of good players.

        Q.  Mike, you said I can’t believe that just happened.  I assume that means you thought two days of Michel Therrien complaining about obstruction resulted in a call that helped them?

        COACH MIKE BABCOCK:  No, that’s not what I said.  You gotta read into it whatever you want, I’m not going there.

        Q.  At what point did you know Holmstrom couldn’t go, and I guess, what’s his status?

        COACH MIKE BABCOCK:  When he didn’t come to the game tonight (smiling).  (Laughter.)  I said to the trainers, where is Tommy?  He’s not coming.  That’s when I knew, obviously he was stiffer and sorer than we thought this morning.

        Q.  So he did not come to the game?

        COACH MIKE BABCOCK:  He came, but he wasn’t in time, he wasn’t interested in going for warmups.

        Q.  In talking about your penalty kills, you’re saying those guys are all tremendous players.  But you’ve got Crosby and Malkin and Gonchar and a couple of other guys who are good on the other side there?

        COACH MIKE BABCOCK:  In the first period, if you remember, they had power plays and they tic‑tac‑toed the puck around.  We were on our heels.  We were too cautious early, and giving too much respect.  I thought as the game went on we did a better job limiting their time and space.

        Like I said before, one of the things that hurts the power play, I believe, at the pressure time is you’re trying so hard, you’re not as smooth as you normally are when everyone’s calm.  And I thought that helped our five‑on‑three kill.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: interview, mike+babcock, quotes, transcript

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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.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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