Babcock Has Moved On.

And, now, so must we.

It’s Friday. It’s been an exhaustingly long week. Mostly due to work but the ordeal of anxiously waiting for Babcock to do what it seemed like he was always going to do, leave Detroit for a different opportunity…..and a metric crap ton of money. Somehow this Babcock thing has completely overshadowed the end of the second round of the playoffs, the fun World Championships that were going on and the start of the Conference Finals in the NHL. Wednesday was Babcock’s self-imposed decision day and he kept it, making the shocking/not so shocking decision to leave Detroit for….Toronto. The Toronto part was the shocking bit as it seemed everything he said prior to his decision pointed away from Toronto as a destination.

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It’s Over. The Babcock Circus is Over…..For Now

Welp guys, the unthinkable happened. For two years, now, the Toronto media has guaranteed that Babcock would coach the Maple Leafs when his contract with Detroit was over. Aaaaaaaaand here we all are….

Babcock to Toronto 1(7) Twitter 2015-05-20 13-10-10

TSN confirms that Mike Babcock is the new head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs. I wonder how mu…

Babcock to Toronto 2(10) Twitter 2015-05-20 13-11-24

WOAH. 50 million over 8 years. Around 8 million a season. That blows the next highest paid coach out of the water by SIX (6) million dollars. I don’t understand! This is an initial reaction post and I’ll post my full thoughts later. But OH MAN. See ya, Mike. Good Luck!

Edit: The 8 million a season is for the first half of his contract. It’ll be reduced after that.

Babcock MADNESS!

Quick update from the lunch table of a Mediterranean restaurant!

Aaron Ward tweeted that Buffalo is out of the Mike Babcock sweepstakes and that Babs has ruled out the Wings. That leaves Toronto.

It was also reported that the MLSE (Toronto ownership group) jet was scheduled to fly to Detroit and leave 3 minutes later. So it looks like they’re coming to pick up their new prize and return to their dumpster fire.

 

More probably soon.

BABCOCK COACH WATCH UPDATE!

That was all caps but I promise I wasn’t yell….ok I was totally yelling.

 

Anyway. Here’s a quick update from Dreger on what’s going on with Mike Babcock’s coaching situation.

(16) Twitter 2015-05-20 10-18-59

So Mike is just sitting back with the Wings’ final offer while Toronto and Buffalo punch each other in the face. SWEET!

Whatever happens here, I’m pretty confident that Mike won’t be back in the Motor City next year.

What is going on with Mike Babcock?

Well, that’s a bit of a loaded question and I kind of feel like an ass writing this two days after his father passed away and the day of his father’s funeral. BUT! I’ve had a lot of thoughts about the “best coach in the NHL” which were further exacerbated by the hilarity that was the game last night. So we’ll dive right in and discuss my thoughts on Mr. Babcock

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Red Wings Rollin’

The Kids keep going

Well, it’s been a while. Since we’ve seen this level of  play from the Wings, since I’ve posted anything, and since I thought Babcock and Abdlekader should go somewhere else. How bout we take a quick look at how things have changed and what’s been happening.

Rewind to the off season, July thru…pre-pre-season? Is that a thing. It is now. There was a lot of distaste in my heart surrounding my beloved Wings. No real moves were made, Cleary was re-signed, everyone was talking about bringing Alfie back, fans screaming for Mantha to make yet-again over committed roster. Looking at our line-up at that time, I thought things looked bleak. Our defense was best described as “meh” and our forwards looked like there would be scoring issues, with Babcock making the lines.

However, then, my negative outlook started to get more positive, as Babcock allowed youth to flourish. Giving faith and opportunity to the young forwards, desiring young defensemen like Oullet and Sproul make the lineup. Unfortunately, he didn’t get the defensemen he wanted, but there was still hope that Babcock stopped his hatred of anyone under 33 years of age.

Fast forward 10 games into the season…

The Red Wings defense and goaltending was performing better than anyone expected. Looking solid. The penalty kill on fire, and things back there looked very good, promising more than most die-hard fans could have hoped for. However good the defense played, we couldn’t score enough to win a game. It felt like every game we went into overtime. Our forwards looked like how it was feared, unable to score consistently. Datsyuk and Helm were in injury trouble, and Nyquist was our only shining star. Franzen peeked his head out for a second there somewhere, but then disappeared again, as he does. Tatar, Sheahan, and Jurco were struggling not just to score, but to even make a difference. Our power play was laughable, and no one knew what the heck they were doing out there in the slightest. Then, in the midst of it all, something broke.

Looking at it now, over my plate of crow, I think it was…this is hard to admit for me…Abdlekader…that started it all. He started playing well. Very, very well, actually, far better than I thought he could. Tatar found the net and didn’t stop. Sheahan seemed to wake up. Helm and Datsyuk got healthy again, eventually. Then the Wings power play snapped and figured out what they are doing, and are now one of the best teams in the NHL on the power play.

When Datsyuk and Helm came back, they started scoring and improving everyone around them. Weiss finally paid someone in an alley for a new groin, and he immediately started lighting the lamp. Now, with our lines forwards scoring, our defense holding on, the Wings are in the top 5 of the NHL. We have 3 potent scoring lines, like our Cup years. The fourth line is chipping in offensively and smother teams defensively, and Babcock is able to, and actually does, trust them to play in every situation of every game. Just like our Cup years. I’m not making predictions here. I’m simply here to say that I have been proven wrong by Babcock this year. And I’m loving it.

I credit Babcock’s change of heart when it comes to youth, and Datsyuk’s ability to keep his youth, for our successes. Not to mention the continued good play of our defense.

Look at these lines and tell me they are not drool-worthy

Nyquist-Zetterberg-Jurco

Tatar-Datsyuk-Helm

Franzen-Sheahan-Weiss

Miller-Glendening-Andersson

Cleary/Abdelkader

In conclusion: Gatoraide cures hangovers.

Swede-Go-Round

I’m not sure if this sounds like the best ride ever, given the approximate beauty of most Swedish women, or the most horrifying ride ever because: Johan Franzen. There’s also a concussion joke in there somewhere I’m sure. But that’s why we are here today, concussions. They’re the worst.

The good news? Joakim Andersson was activated off of IR and is available for tonight’s game. The bad news? Johan Franzen has been placed back on IR because his post-concussion symptoms showed back up after one game. The double-whammy bad news? Because of this we now have another spot open and Cleary will again be in the lineup. I don’t like this. We need Franzen back and we need Cleary out of the line-up.

This is the only change for tonight, as of right now. You have Andersson taking Franzen’s spot on the first line at the moment so the lines look like this:

Nyquist-Andersson-Abdelkader

Tatar-Sheahan-Jurco

Cleary-Helm-Alfredsson

Miller-Glendening-Eaves

Defense is the same.

 

I’ll update this as more info becomes available.