Mike Babcock Is No Fool: Jimmy Howard the Man for Detroit Red Wings in Game 4

April 20th, 2010 by Greg Eno Leave a reply »
It was, for my money, the gutsiest playoff decision I’d ever seen a coach make in Detroit. And I’ve been nosing around our teams since 1970.

Mike Babcock took conventional wisdom and the safe path and he chucked them into the Detroit River. For all I know he ripped out the pages of the coaching manual that says you don’t do it and he swallowed them whole.

“It” happened in 2008, almost two years ago to the day.

The Red Wings were in a dogfight of a first round soiree with the Nashville Predators. The Western Conference finalist Red Wings of the year previous had their hands completely full with Barry Trotz’s scrappy bunch from Tennessee.

The Red Wings had won the first two games in Detroit, but were swept in games three and four in Nashville, squaring the series at 2—2.

But Babcock had a pretty good idea why the Predators were able to tie the series.

“The puck is going into the net,” Babcock said. He didn’t add it, but he inferred it: not only is it going in, it’s going in too frequently, and too easily.

He di ...

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