Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Alanah McGinley on 05/12/08 at 03:49 PM ET
Interview today with Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock.
Q I apologize for opening with a Provincial question, but do you have any reaction to what happened to Joel Quenneville at Colorado?
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: Good for Joel. He’s a hot commodity now, and he’s out in the market. I think he’s a heck of a coach. I think he does a good job. He got his team two of the last three years out of the first round.
They were really hurt this year, and he still managed to do it. So I mean, probably he and his family didn’t want to leave, but in saying that, it will be new opportunity. He’ll get a great deal and probably with a good team.
So all the power to him.
Q Can you talk about some of the keys to playing in Game 3 like this, where you know you’re facing a team that is desperate at home like they will be tonight?
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: I mean, we’ve been through it a couple times, just even in the last couple of years. We went to Calgary up 2-0. Came home tied. Went to Nashville 2-0. Came home tied.
The bottom line is what we’ve done is kind of held surf. They’re going to come into their building, they’ll be excited. First 10 minutes is going to be really important. But the overall game and our plan and how we play.
And our big thing is just to maintain the level of play, not to let it fall off. If we can do that, we’re going to have a good under opportunity here.
If we fall off and play different, then that makes things harder for us. They’re going to have energy. They’ve got their crowd. They’ve got their building. It’s natural for you to have energy. And, yet, we like our team. We like the way we’re playing and we believe.
Q You just talked about coming back 2-2 after being up 2-0. When you’ve done that a couple of times, is there anything to be learned from it? Do you try and do things differently now?
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: You try not to let it happen. And saying that, I mean, we were up 3-1 in Nashville, I think in Game 3. And the wheels came off. Then we were up, I think, in the other game and the same thing. I could be wrong on that one.
Same at Calgary, we totally dominated the games. We got in penalty trouble. Scored a 5 on 3 goal. I guess the way you do it, you’re always trying to learn from previous experience.
If there was an exact formula, everyone would be doing it this. Winning is hard at this time of year. And we’re playing proud, talented people. Good coaches. Tippe does a real good job. So when you look at it, I don’t think there’s much to pick between the teams. I’ve said that all along.
And now you just gotta put your will on them.
Q When people look at defense, they think of big hits and clobbering people. You guys play a much different overall team defense. Can you describe why your defense is so effective that way?
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: Well, I mean when you play a five-man game it’s mandatory. Our best players have to be great defensively. That’s just the way we do it. And everyone’s, when your best players play good defense in the front end, so that would be Datsyuk and Zetterberg, no one gets let off the hook.
Our back end is mobile and gets the pucks. And everyone talks about how unphysical and all we are. But we had 39 finished checks last game. I think if you ask their “D,” I don’t think they would be telling you how unphysical we are.
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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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