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Coach Babcock After Optional Skate Today

from Chuck Pleiness of Red Wings Front,

Today was a very optional skate with just a handful of guys taking part.

“We play every second day obviously and so we talked about this quite a few games ago, this is how we’re going to handle ourselves right through until we have a day off coming up,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “Just make sure everyone’s ready to go. I didn’t come in here and evaluate yet. If you’re 23 and under and you weren’t on the ice I probably said something but the bottom line is we’ve got to be ready to play tomorrow.”///

Of the injured players, Daniel Alfredsson, Johan Franzen and Pavel Datsyuk took part in the practice.

Babcock won’t know if any of them will be ready to play Friday, but it appears highly unlikely.

“I don’t know he hasn’t done any negotiating with me,” Babcock said when asked about Alfredsson’s status. “I haven’t heard anything about it so we’ll see.

“We’ll talk to tomorrow after we skate,” Babcock continued. “It’s like anything, once you skate and you come back the next day sometimes that’s a little bit different so there’s no sense me making decisions I don’t need to make.”

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Comments

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If you’re 23 and under and you weren’t on the ice I probably said something

I wonder which 23 year old didn’t show up

Posted by George0211 on 01/23/14 at 03:34 PM ET

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These guys gotta be ready for the Olympics.  Trolling not trolling.

Posted by brians neck on 01/23/14 at 03:46 PM ET

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I hope it wasn’t Jurco - Babcock seems to like him and Jurco has played well - he has played against the board and has not backed away from contact. Babcock said some good things about Jurco and with this organization, normally, the best thing you’d get from KH or Babcock in terms of a young guy (who isn’t a grinder) is no comment at all. The fact that he gave praise says a lot to me.

Posted by VitoLambruski on 01/23/14 at 04:57 PM ET

Alan's avatar

Posted by VitoLambruski on 01/23/14 at 03:57 PM ET

The only possibilities from what I can see:

Jurco (21)
Sheahan (22)
Tatar (23)
Lashoff (23)
DeKeyser (23)
Mrazek (21)

I can’t fathom a guess as to who didn’t show up, but I would hope it wasn’t any of them.

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 01/23/14 at 05:42 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

either it’s an optional skate or it’s not, right?  If nobody showed up anyway, why single out the younguns?  Is that the way it went down, or do I have it wrong?

Posted by MoreShoot on 01/23/14 at 06:59 PM ET

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Its common practice that young guys show up for EVERY skate. The one person I could see maybe having an excuse is Tatar as he’s one week removed from traveling through a bunch of time zones. Plus dealing with something rough.

Posted by brians neck on 01/23/14 at 07:12 PM ET

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It’s the typical Babcock mindgames. Did you ever hear the Brendan Smith (I think it is him, right?) story last year? Babcock told him he wasn’t playing the next game and Smith said “Ok” and Babcock flipped out and said “No it’s not OK!!!” Kind of a lesson in mindset/psychology/intensity.

To me, Babcock kind of seems like some of the crazy girls out there who play relationship games. Babcock says its an optional skate but he also makes sure the young guys know that they have to earn their keep. So the young guys better know that it isn’t really optional for them (but Babcock isn’t gonna tell them that). So if they treat it as optional and don’t come, they don’t want to play that bad and therefore they failed the test/game.

Posted by VitoLambruski on 01/23/14 at 07:13 PM ET

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Some of these “young guys” must realize that they are fighting for a spot so yes, it should be plenty apparent to them that they need to be at every practice possible.

As for this…

It’s the typical Babcock mindgames. Did you ever hear the Brendan Smith (I think it is him, right?) story last year? Babcock told him he wasn’t playing the next game and Smith said “Ok” and Babcock flipped out and said “No it’s not OK!!!” Kind of a lesson in mindset/psychology/intensity.

If true, it sounds like Babcock is trying to get one of our highly touted prospects, and a player now stuck in the starting lineup, to play to their potential. I really don’t see a problem with that.

Posted by fromdowntown on 01/23/14 at 07:35 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Shaehan probably wasnt feelinh great and ddk took some abuse on hard minutes

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 01/23/14 at 07:37 PM ET

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I don’t really have any beef with Babcock’s games. He wants to see who gets it and who doesn’t. Even after the whole Smith thing, Brendan has still struggled to take accountability and to fully understand how things work. But he’s learning - that much is clear. He still makes mistakes but he is getting his mind right and growing up. When he fully understands it, he could be a top-pair guy. And not a Kris Letang-type who excels at one end and can barely keep it together in the other. I think they are deliberately developing his game in his own end and once he gets that, they will let him open up some more. But first he needs to understand how it all works. Once he gets it, then cuts down on his mistakes, he can fully come into his own.

I think highly of him, despite his current shortcomings. To me, he should be considered untouchable from a trade standpoint, unless we are bringing in a top-pair D-man in return.

Posted by VitoLambruski on 01/23/14 at 07:49 PM ET

Paul's avatar

I am wondering if Babcock was just playing with the media regarding the player under 23?

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 01/23/14 at 07:53 PM ET

Alan's avatar

’s the typical Babcock mindgames. Did you ever hear the Brendan Smith (I think it is him, right?) story last year? Babcock told him he wasn’t playing the next game and Smith said “Ok” and Babcock flipped out and said “No it’s not OK!!!” Kind of a lesson in mindset/psychology/intensity

Posted by VitoLambruski on 01/23/14 at 06:13 PM ET

It was indeed Smith, and that’s a good point.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 01/23/14 at 06:53 PM ET

That’s also a thought I hadn’t considered. Good call.

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 01/23/14 at 08:23 PM ET

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I don’t really have any beef with Babcock’s games. He wants to see who gets it and who doesn’t.

Possibly, but at the other end is the fact that he was pulling these games with a rookie.  Hockey players are taught, from the very beginning, to be a team player and that no single person is above the team.  On top of that, you’re taught not to question your coach so really, what good is that “game”?  It’s entirely possible that Smith was seething, but said “OK” because that is what is expected from a team player.

And hell, I’ve seen enough articles just on this site of people shaking their heads and “tsk tsk"ing about a player who is too outspoken.

On top of that, everyone in the hockey world knows that Detroit is all about the team over the individual.

So really, what is the point of playing that type of “game” with a rookie?  What does it accomplish?

Posted by Garth on 01/24/14 at 09:57 AM ET

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That’s a legitimate point. And I decided to re-read the Smith story and it did explain that Smith was upset but said “Ok” because he didn’t know what else to say.

You are right that it is questionable to play games like that with the rookies/young guys who maybe aren’t fully developed mentally.

In this case, we don’t know if during training camp (or at any point), the team management/coaching explains that young guys are expected to take the optional skates and so on and so forth. It’s entirely possible that these guys were well aware they are expected to skate until they’ve “earned” days off. Who knows?

Posted by VitoLambruski on 01/24/14 at 10:26 AM 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.