The Malik Report
by George Malik on 11/27/13 at 03:30 PM ET
I will readily admit that I'm not exactly "a fan" of the ways in which Sportsnet's setting up their list of the "Top 10 ’24/7′ Characters," mostly because the network that happens to have the Canadian rights for distribution of the HBO series is treating real people like Todd Bertuzzi, Henrik Zetterberg, Daniel Alfredsson etc. as characters who somehow must owe their audience the status of "providing entertainment" instead of allowing the 24/7 cameras to simply reveal aspects of their personalities that we may not yet know.
Today, Sportsnet's Ryan Dixon offers the following hopes for what 24/7 may reveal about Mike Babcock the "character" as well as the Wings' coach:
In football and basketball, the guy with the headset or clipboard is often referred to simply as “Coach.” That’s never really taken hold in hockey vernacular, but if one bench boss could inspire change on that front, it’s Mike Babcock.
If you’d never seen a hockey game in your life but happened to witness Babcock doing something as random as buying gum, you’d look at him and think, “This guy is a leader of men.”
Not only does he have the broad shoulders and square jaw of a man in charge, Babcock clearly has a mind that never stops figuring out a better way to do things. If he were buying a pack of Juicy Fruit, he’d probably question the cashier about his or her technique on the register and suggest a more efficient way to scan a product and make change.
Explaining things is just what Babcock does. Sometimes, during a stoppage of play, he’ll jump down and mark up a play right on top of the boards in front of the Wings bench. Hey, when a teachable moment arises, there’s no time to locate the whiteboard. It will be fantastic to get a behind-the-curtain look at Babcock preaching in the dressing room or, even better, during a one-on-one session with a player in the video room.
Babcock also has the credibility and confidence to speak his mind, which he does without lowering himself to lashing out. When the media asked him if he was ready to hit the panic button after losing game one of Detroit’s second-round series with the Chicago Blackhawks last year, he didn’t chastise anyone—he just did what great coaches do and culled a few moments from the game to make a crystal-clear point:
Dixon continues, and all I can tell you for sure is that Babcock is NOT going to present a friendly face to the camera crew. He's repeateadly stated that he hates the concept of having his coaching secrets laid bare when asked about the 24/7 phenomenon in previous seasons, and he's someone who is very, very irked by being quoted incorrectly or having things attributed to him that he did not say, so he's going to be...Prickly.
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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.