Mike Babcock was talking at the Wings first and only practice before the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs start and anyone could tell that there was a different feeling in the so called room. It felt like moments before the final school bell rings for summer vacation but the only difference is that the Wings want to put off summer vacation as long as possible. It is no secret that the Wings have not played like they have wanted to for the last month plus. Detroit has struggled to get off to good starts, win at home and overall they just lack consistency. But as many of the players pointed out on Tuesday, none of that matters anymore because it’s the best time of the year now and what happened in the regular season is yesterday’s news.

Babcock and the Red Wings organization make no secret about the fact that their players and teams will be judged by what happens in the playoffs and that is how it should be. So let the judging begin… Below are some of the things that were overheard at practice…

-Jimmy Howard claims that he is calmer this postseason compared to last year’s playoffs.

-When I asked Henrik Zetterberg if he expects to play in the entire first round he seemed very unsure. Zetterberg has a lower body injury where it seems like the left knee is affected. He has been wearing a brace and has not been able to skate since injuring it and doesn’t know when he will.

-Nick Kronwall is chomping at the bit to get back in a game after dealing with a lower body injury and is a game time decision for Wednesday night.

-Nick Lidstrom was talking about feeling like an 18 year old because the playoffs are about to start and the regular season is finally over.

-Mike Babcock says that Joey MacDonald is the back up to Jimmy Howard for the time being but after Chris Osgood gets more practice then that could change.

Watch the videos below for the entire interviews with the players and Mike Babcock. Also don’t forget to listen to the game on 97.1FM “The Ticket” starting at 6:40pm followed by the postgame show with myself and Pat Caputo.

Let the fun begin!!!


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