By: Mike Stone
With the Red Wings down 3-1 in their series with Nashville and their proverbial backs to the wall, Mike Babcock is not panicking. He still believes in his team and his message. The Red Wings coach joined the Stoney and Bill show Thursday morning and feels his team is not dead because of the way they are playing.
“If you’re down 3-1 in a series and you feel like you’re getting outplayed and you feel they’re better than you, it’s harder to sell,” he said. “If you can’t buy it yourself, you can’t sell it.”
Babcock said he’s spending lots of time these days watching game videos. He described the Wings “two meltdowns,” in the latest game — a defensive zone situation, and an overplay in the neutral zone — saying he wishes he could have those plays back. “I’d like to have that back,” he added. “We’ve got to score.”
He praised the Predators’ goaltending skills, adding he does not believe the critics who say the Wings are not getting good scoring opportunities, saying, “We had tons of quality chances in that last game — quality, quality chances. Their goaltender made the saves.”
“We’ve got to get the puck by him,” Babcock added, saying it’s all about making sure his team gets second chances.
The coach also discussed his routine for the night before a game in Nashville, which might come as a surprise. It turns out hockey and country music do mix.
“I go over to watch some live country music, sit down and have a beer, and then I have a bad meal usually, get back and watch a little hockey and shut her down,” Babcock said. “In Nashville, I’m not a connoisseur of food. In Chicago or Montreal, I do a little better job with the food.”
So, how does he feel about the state of violence in the NHL?
“I’m a bit of a redneck,” Babcock said, laughing. “I’ve had the opportunity to coach a lot of tough teams…You coach with whatever you have. With fans, I think fans like winning… It doesn’t matter how you play, if you win , the fans are happy.”