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Babcock Not Happy With 3rd And 4th Lines

Paul for George…

Saturday breaks down like this… Nashville gets one point in Colorado, they are the 4th seed, Wings get two points and Nashville losses in regulation, Wings get 4th seedn, Nashville 5th.  Chicago beats Detroit in regulation, Chicago finishes 5th, Wings 6th.

Wings and Chicago are tied in ROW and 2nd tie-breaker is head to head points, and Chicago would win that.

 

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bezukov's avatar

Next Headline:

“Red Wings Fans not happy with Babcock”

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 04/06/12 at 01:39 AM ET

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Reporter: “Yeah Mike, I was wondering how you feel about the play of Johan Franzen entering the final weekend of the regular season…is he finally ready to step his game up the way you’ll likely need him to come playoff time?”

Babcock: “Fu*k you and the mule you rode in on. Next question.”

Posted by godblender on 04/06/12 at 01:46 AM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Babcock: “Fu*k you and the mule you rode in on. Next question.”

Posted by godblender on 04/05/12 at 11:46 PM ET

It’s a good thing I wasn’t drinking anything expensive when I read that because I would have spit it all over my monitor. That right there deserves to be immortalized in the righthand column of the A2Y blog.

As for Franzen, it looks like the only way he’ll play like a “mule” is if someone pisses him off. So, if I’m the opposing team, I’d just leave him alone and let him continue to be a milk-toast winger who floats around waiting for easy chances.

On the other hand, I have to say I may have to reconsider my relentless criticism of E52. He’s been worth every penny of the $3.25M they’re about to pay him – as long as he plays with TPH. But then, who wouldn’t be worth that much when your partner on “D” is the best that’s ever played.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 04/06/12 at 02:10 AM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

Anyone else feel a passive-aggressive snark towards Holland sneaking in there?  As in, “well, this is what I have to work with….”

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 04/06/12 at 02:43 AM ET

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[If] Chicago beats Detroit in regulation, Chicago finishes 5th, Wings 6th.

Wings and Chicago are tied in ROW and 2nd tie-breaker is head to head points, and Chicago would win that.

I won’t suggest that they’ll intentionally lose but they will consider who they’d rather play against in the first round and that might affect how they play.

Posted by bleep bloop on 04/06/12 at 03:10 AM ET

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I won’t suggest that they’ll intentionally lose but they will consider who they’d rather play against in the first round and that might affect how they play.

Why? What does it matter if you play an “easier” team in the first round only to lose in the second. The goal here is to win the cup, to hell with all this who they’d rather play crap. Nothing matters if they don’t go 4 rounds deep and win. NOTHING.

Posted by Doug Brown from Pantsless on 04/06/12 at 03:46 AM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

Brownov….....the Wings need you.

No man, c’mon.  The Preds and Blues will cost you bodies.  Whoever comes out of the east will have feasted on the Sens or Pens or Caps….even the Flyers have no serious bruising capacity.  Pretty sure CBJ played an important role (roll-over) in 2008.

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 04/06/12 at 04:32 AM ET

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Brownov….....the Wings need you.

That and i’m still waiting for Bob Rouse to walk outa the tunnel.

Posted by Doug Brown from Pantsless on 04/06/12 at 05:00 AM ET

NIVO's avatar

yahhh good ole #17 Brownov, damn did you make some fine passes in your day! Doesnt matter where we finish now really. Need to be healthy and ready to go is all. Playoffs start with everyone 0-0. No home record, no away record. Just a new season for 16 wins. Go Wings!

Posted by NIVO from underpants gnome village on 04/06/12 at 06:04 AM ET

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Just speaking as a random, non-wings fan, this man seems to command good, straight forward questions and then is more than capable of fending them off with respect and candid honesty. Great coach to say the least.

Posted by Jamie on 04/06/12 at 07:56 AM ET

WestWing's avatar

Anyone else feel a passive-aggressive snark towards Holland sneaking in there?  As in, “well, this is what I have to work with….”

Let’s just say that Babcock’s remark about New Jersey being a much deeper team up front is a stark departure from the standard company line.  Holland, as we all know, really likes his team.

Babcock on the other hand?  His line about how “we perceive ourselves as the mighty Red Wings” sounds very much like a coach who clearly understands that the media, most fans and perhaps even the organization itself have all over-rated the talent level of this team for some time now.

Posted by WestWing from Portland, Oregon on 04/06/12 at 10:15 AM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

The 3rd line started strong then faded. The 4th line, like all yr, was invisible. I don’t remember a yr (after ‘90 or so) when we’ve had such a weak 4th line. This could be HUGE in the playoffs.

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 04/06/12 at 11:22 AM ET

Guilherme's avatar

I’m starting to worry if the Wings aren’t rushing Helm back.

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 04/06/12 at 11:38 AM ET

Red Winger's avatar

This team just doesn’t have it. This spring is going to suck so bad.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 04/06/12 at 01:08 PM ET

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This team just doesn’t have it.

But…but Ken Holland LIKES his team!!!

Posted by Garth on 04/06/12 at 01:14 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

I uh….I’m not expecting anything big this summer in regards to signing someone needed.

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 04/06/12 at 01:20 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

But…but Ken Holland LIKES his team!!!

I like this team too but even I can see that we’re missing a true 3rd line. I sure hope I’m wrong on this.

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 04/06/12 at 01:21 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

Anyone else feel a passive-aggressive snark towards Holland sneaking in there?  As in, “well, this is what I have to work with….”
Posted by tuxedoTshirt from home of the 1925 Stanley Cup Champs on 04/06/12 at 12:43 AM ET

Absolutely. Now, hopefully Mr. I sees that all members of the Brain Trust are no longer on the same page and thanks Babs for his service to the team and sends him on his way.

Coaching can’t put pucks in the net, but coaching is responsible for the PP and PK schemes. Both of our special teams are PATHETIC! So either the coaching staff has great schemes that the players are ignoring, or the players are doing what they’re told and the schemes suck. Either way is a coaching failure.

How many more SOG-less PP’s and shorties do we have to endure before Tick Tock or Mr. I does something?

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 04/06/12 at 01:28 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

Heres how the weekend is going to play out:

Bubba gives the Dive a beatdown and gets two points;

Little Brother punks us tomorrow because they’re willing to play 60 and the Wings are only willing to play 20; and

The Kings are still upset about Clowe playing the puck from the bench and they get beat again by the Chum.

End result? We get the sixth seed and an opening round matchup with the Chum and Wing players, coaches and staff book late April tee times at Oakland Hills.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 04/06/12 at 01:34 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

I kind of want the Sharks. That seeding will either A) Wake the Wings up and they’ll knock ‘em out in 6 or B) Knock the Wings out in 6 and hopefully that’ll wake up someone within the organ-I-zation that, while a roster blow-up isn’t needed, something needs to be changed. Hiring new assistant coaches obviously didn’t do enough.

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 04/06/12 at 01:39 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Hiring new assistant coaches obviously didn’t do enough.

One word: Blashill.
One more word (a response to the name above): Ooofff…..

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 04/06/12 at 01:47 PM ET

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I like this team too but even I can see that we’re missing a true 3rd line. I sure hope I’m wrong on this.

Yeah, but the problem is that you or I couldn’t have done anything to improve the team whereas Mr Holland could’ve but decided not to.

Posted by Garth on 04/06/12 at 02:13 PM ET

WingedRider's avatar

I think Holland is the best GM in NHL…but letting Commie go for squat, trading for Quincey and signing Conks were mistakes, Quincey mistake X 2.

Babs favoritism to non performing Vets will be his downfall.  Smith should still be playing in NHL and Nyquist is Top 6.  Pav has no wingers.  Helm injury is bigger than most realize!

On the bright side if we end up 6th we can just leave Stuart on the West Coast when and if we lose!  Sad but his game has gone downhill since the leak of his having to go Home.

Babcock has to be held accountable to media AND FANS and answer some difficult questions.  Blowing off the Media with his redundant answers pisses me off more than Wings losing.

Short playoffs I fear!

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 04/06/12 at 02:27 PM ET

Joe Z.'s avatar

well the 4th line is not a nhl line at all. and the so called 3rd line is nothing more than a 4th line, with helm and eaves out of the lineup

Posted by Joe Z. from Austria on 04/06/12 at 02:41 PM ET

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I think Holland is the best GM in NHL…but letting Commie go for squat, trading for Quincey and signing Conks were mistakes, Quincey mistake X 2.

I think the Quincey trade is fine.  Based on how he’s played the last couple years for other teams it’s not a terrible trade at all.  It just hasn’t worked out (yet).  I also don’t blame him for letting Commie go.  Take Quincey off the team and Commodore is STILL not going to be playing.  It’s clear that they value Smith and would likely have him higher on the depth chart than Commodore.

I definitely agree that Conklin’s signing was a mistake though.  Sure, he was good in Detroit a couple years ago but he was crap for the years in between and there was no real reason to believe he would be better this year.  I think the bigger mistake, though, was letter Osgood take his time in deciding to retire.  If Holland had pulled the plug on Osgood before July 1st then he could’ve picked up a better backup or even a 1B goalie.

Posted by Garth on 04/06/12 at 02:46 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

We had a wonderful third line, Miller/Helm/Abby, but they got split up because of injuries.  4th line could have been better, but still not bad at grinding most nights.  I’m sorry Connor didn’t stick because he was doing a great job before he hurt his hand.

Uncle Mike has been asking for a top 6 forward since the end of last season.  He didn’t get one.  He also seems to have lost one, because Franzen is sure lost somewhere most nights. Not Babcock’s fault that the Mule can’t find his game. He also always says, “You play with the guys you’ve got” (or something like that).  He’s not going to stand up and say he’s not happy with this team, but saying that “other teams are deeper up front - we know that” says a lot.  (And let’s not forget that Cleary and Homer are playing with NO knees.)  That said, I don’t criticize Holland for not wanting to give up top prospects for quick fixes, or overpaying for what was available if it wasn’t what he wanted. 

The Wings have some quality young players in the pipeline (Nyquist, Smith, Sheahan, Tatar and others).  The fact that Nyquist is on the team and that Sheahan was brought up tells me that Uncle Mike is already in re-building mode.

And parity is having a major impact these past three years - no question.

I expect to see some major departures (Lidstrom, Holmstrom, Stuart) after this season and some major re-tooling over the summer.  Meanwhile, we’re in the playoffs and as NIVO said, everything starts over at that point.  Wings have just as good a chance as anybody, because anything - ANYTHING - can happen.

I’m not giving up until it’s all over.

LET’S GO RED WINGS !!!!!

LET’S GO RED WINGS !!!!!

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 04/06/12 at 03:02 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

I have to disagree about Conks. Holland has operated under the premise that he will not over pay for goaltending since forever. The one time he did (Cujo Lassie), he got burned. I don’t recall any free agent goalies that were available for the price that Holland was willing to pay. At $750, Conks only purpose was cheap insurance and in that role he has done an admirable job.

There have been a couple of blow out losses that skewed his gaa, but he has played the back up role well and never griped about being sent down for JMac. Throw out the 7-1 loss to the Caps and the 5-1 loss to the Isles (both games, the skaters in front of him failed to show up), and his numbers look a lot better.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 04/06/12 at 03:20 PM ET

MOWingsfan19's avatar

I kind of have to agree with Cap’n D here…. we’re going to wind up playing SJ.
Fine with me, beat’em and move on or roll over to them again. We get bounced by the same team 3 years in a row and something HAS to give.
Complacency in the roster and management ain’t getting it done.
I like Kenny as much as any GM in the league, but the last couple of years really haven’t done anything but let us stay in the ruts we’ve been in. Ya can’t wait forever for kids to develop with the same roster plus one or two minor changes.
I was very excited about the new assistants to start the season, but as this season has progressed… it seems as neither was ready for the NHL. If they are in charge of specialty teams, they are really CLUELESS… or they cant get through to the players… either way the onus is on them.
Uncle Mike outta be on thin ice too….how many games in the last 2-3 seasons have we heard the same canned BS after a BS effort on the ice. “Not enough compete, didn’t start on time, coaches didn’t have the players prepared” ad nauseam.  Did you ever hear Scotty say that once EVER? Yeah, I know there will never be another Scotty, but JFC enough is enough already.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 04/06/12 at 03:25 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

. Ya can’t wait forever for kids to develop with the same roster plus one or two minor changes.

I think this is more evidence of a disconnect between Babs and Holland. Babs, like his mentor Scotty, has his favorites. Scotty, for all of his excellence, was not exactly a developer of fresh talent. and Babs seems to have adopted this mentality.

He’s very hit and miss in his utilization of young players. Nyquill goes straight to the top line and thrives (who wouldn’t) while Mursak languishes. Both of those guys should be getting Buckets’ minutes. I love Charlie, but whether because of injury or age, dude has lost it. No speed, no hands, just a body on the ice. Buckets is a -5 over his last five games. But he’s one of Babs’ favorites so he continues to play.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 04/06/12 at 03:45 PM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

Ya can’t wait forever for kids to develop with the same roster plus one or two minor changes.

Seriously.  I know it’s heresy, but rookies are now an essential part of team make-up, as they are showing all over the league.  Nyquist could have spent the whole year in the top 6.  The team would likely have been better, but the player definitely would be better.  Same with Smith.  Why sign Brunnstrom and not even give him a shot?  Young legs.  Everyone needs ‘em.

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 04/06/12 at 03:47 PM ET

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I’d rather be 6th than 5th, playing Pacific champs (preferably the Yotes!) vs. on the road against Nashville. Let Chicago and Nashville beat each other up.

Posted by AZWinger from Phoenix, AZ on 04/06/12 at 03:47 PM ET

calquake's avatar

Okay… I understand the bitching and the displeasure with Kenny and Babcock.  However, who are you going to replace them with?  And I want names not just “they need to be fired”.
Here’s a little secret for everybody.  YOU DON’T WIN THE STANLEY CUP EVERY YEAR.  Just to be there and compete is all any player, coach or GM wants.  “Anything less than the Cup is failure” is a nice platitude but not very realistic.  There are 32 teams in the NHL and every one of them wants to win the Cup.  I’ll stick with Kenny and Co. until the bitter end.  There are no quick fixes.

Posted by calquake on 04/06/12 at 03:57 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

Seriously.  I know it’s heresy, but rookies are now an essential part of team make-up, as they are showing all over the league.  Nyquist could have spent the whole year in the top 6.  The team would likely have been better, but the player definitely would be better.  Same with Smith.  Why sign Brunnstrom and not even give him a shot?  Young legs.  Everyone needs ‘em.
Posted by tuxedoTshirt from home of the 1925 Stanley Cup Champs on 04/06/12 at 01:47 PM ET

Who doles out the ice time? Babs.

Bubba has been shorthanded 25 fewer times than the Wings this season. Remember when the Wings used to be one of the least penalized teams? Bubba also has a better PP and PK than Detroit.

Perhaps, it’s time to cherry pick a member of the Bubba staff, Lane Lambert? He played for the Nordiques, Rangers and Wings. He was a head coach for Milwaukee in the AHL before becoming Trotz’s assistant in Bubbaville.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 04/06/12 at 03:59 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

And I want names not just “they need to be fired”.

Lane Lambert.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 04/06/12 at 04:01 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

I support Kenny. I think he can be a little too cautious at times. But I prefer that to most GMs that are willing to mortgage long stretches of the future for a mere whiff of current playoff success.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 04/06/12 at 04:03 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

We had a wonderful third line, Miller/Helm/Abby, but they got split up because of injuries.

I that isn’t an excellent 4th line I don’t know what is.

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 04/06/12 at 04:04 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

Pretty sure CBJ played an important role (roll-over) in 2008.

The 08 wings went through Nashville (tough series, led to Hasek being replaced by Osgood), Colorado (the roll-over, considering as how the presently much maligned Johan Franzen outscored the avs for that series) and Dallas.

You’re thinking of 09, but any cream puffery the Blue Jackets offered was undone by the next two rounds.  Anaheim was really tough and while Chicago didn’t put up much of a fight, they did injure a couple Wings (FU Patrick Sharp) going into the Finals and the first ever back-to-back opening pair (FU NBC).

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 04/06/12 at 04:12 PM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

Damn memory.  Well, just consider the point made, to the opposite effect.

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 04/06/12 at 04:17 PM ET

MOWingsfan19's avatar

I didn’t say shit can them all, but the air has gotten a tad stale Cal… you see it too my friend.I’ve heard you say “impose your will” quite a few times, yet there’s little to no motivation by this team to do exactly that. It’s a long season & you are going to have a few stinkers, but we’ve had far more than “our share” the last few years.
This off season is going to bring about some roster change one way or another and we have cap space we may as well use…. versus sit on for a deadline that may or not have much player movement or anyone worth a shit available.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 04/06/12 at 04:33 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

Well, just consider the point made, to the opposite effect.

It’s not an invalid point, just history not entirely backing you up.  I think that if you put the 08 nashville series in the first round, followed by the 09 ducks series… the wings don’t make the finals.  On the other hand, you give them the 09 BJ series followed by the 08 Avs and Stars and the wings win the finals in 4. 

The first and second round series matter a lot.  Unfortunately, the quality and makeup of opponent isn’t the only factor.  Travel is very, very important as well when it comes to recovery and injury.  It wasn’t something I thought of much until a few years ago during the Mats Sundin saga when he said that playing in the East was preferable because of how much his bad hip would stiffen up during air travel.  I always get off planes a bit sore.  I think we all underestimate how rough it is playing hockey, then flying, while trying to overcome nagging injuries, especially on a team with a number of chronic bad backs (a condition I share).

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 04/06/12 at 04:35 PM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.