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Mike Babcock critiques officials during in-game interview

Apr 11, 2012, 10:21 PM EDT

Sure, there are plenty of times when coaches and players have cliches on call, but in-game and post-game interviews exist because emotional reactions occasionally bleed through. Wednesday night represented one of those times as Detroit Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock reacted to a heavy run of penalties in his team’s match against the Nashville Predators while he was interviewed by Brian Engblom.

“The refs are trying to get to the Stanley Cup finals just like the rest of us,” Babcock said.

Check out video of the interview below:

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Naturally, that honest bit of criticism brought out the snark (particularly in comparison to John Tortorella’s recent fine), but the question is: should Babcock’s wallet be a little lighter?

Perhaps, but I think it would set a bad example. It’s one thing to hand a hefty punishment on Tortorella for comments made during a press conference, yet the New York Rangers coach at least had a little more time to decide that he would speak his mind. If the NHL wants to encourage interesting discussion during on-the-bench interviews, then hitting Babcock hard would be counterproductive – it was in the heat of the moment, after all.

What do you think, though? Does Babcock deserve some kind of punishment – even if it’s mainly to be “fair” to Tortorella? Does he have a point? Maybe a little of both? Share your thoughts.

  1. id4joey - Apr 11, 2012 at 10:31 PM

    More whining! Is this the theme for this year’s playoffs?

  2. stakex - Apr 11, 2012 at 10:42 PM

    I didn’t see the game at all so I can’t comment on it directly… but you know, coaches shouldn’t be fined when they talk about the refs, especially when they have a good point.

    For example, Tortorella was right when he spoke out against the officials after the Winter Classic. The refs CLEARLY ignored several obvious penelties on the Flyers and pretty much invented several calls (including a phantom penelty shot) on the Rangers all in an effort to force the game into overtime. A coach should be able to speak out against that kind of crap in a pro sporting event, and when the league just fines the coach and sweeps it under the rug they lose credability.

    The refs are not perfect, and recieve a ton of “direction” from the league on how to call games… so when there are bad calls, or bad games by the refs, coaches should be allowed to call attention to it. If the league doesn’t like that, they should see that the refs are held to a higher standard and don’t get so many calls wrong.

    • sizzle299 - Apr 11, 2012 at 11:43 PM

      NBC called down to the refs and said make it overtime? Network execs predetermining NHL games?


      Just some bad calls in a high pressure situation?

      Speaking of losing credibility…

    • ballistictrajectory - Apr 12, 2012 at 8:31 AM

      I tend toward the higher standard myself. In that respect the NHL on ice officials have a long way to go.

      1) Make disciplinary findings for refs and linesmen as public as the players and coaches. This becomes an incentive to perform better or go away.
      2) There are 4 pairs of eyes wearing stripes on the ice. Have the war room manage some on ice conferences when the refs disagree and poll the linesmen during that discussion. I’ve seen some of this ad-hoc in games, usually involving the mandatory delay of game call for missing the glass. Expand it and make it possible for the war room to call the conference.
      3) Publish a ranking system for the officials, much like the standings for the teams. Give us a chance to review the official’s record before “throwing him under the Zamboni”.

  3. brian32556 - Apr 11, 2012 at 10:44 PM

    Goodbye Shea Webber!You won’t be seeing anymore of this series with that WWF BS!

    • vshehane - Apr 13, 2012 at 11:47 AM

      Hehehe, guess you were wrong.

      • brian32556 - Apr 13, 2012 at 7:43 PM

        And I suspect you are in the minority from all the incredulous feedback!

  4. hockinj25 - Apr 11, 2012 at 10:46 PM

    How do the two least penalized teams combine for so many penalties? Terrible reffing.

    • michiganhockey11 - Apr 12, 2012 at 10:16 AM

      Completely agree. Even as a wings fan, some of the calls both ways last night were BS.

  5. pshanks62 - Apr 11, 2012 at 10:56 PM

    Mike Babcock, THE MAN.

    • michiganhockey11 - Apr 12, 2012 at 10:15 AM

      Don’t forget, he’s got great hair too….haha.

      Shoudl start referring to him as “the hair”.

  6. hines86for6 - Apr 11, 2012 at 10:59 PM

    10 to 7 in favor of the wings for penalties. Keep whining

    To the above commenter, in your dreams will weber be suspended the whole series.

    1 game max. Your only hope in this series is if Pekka Rinne were suspensed.

    • dangle13x - Apr 11, 2012 at 11:51 PM

      He gave the IN GAlME interview when penalties were 6 Detroit 2 Nashville, way to speak your mind like a true white trash Penguins fan though. Wouldn’t expect anything less than fecal matter spewing out of your rat mouth.

      • dangle13x - Apr 12, 2012 at 11:50 AM

        aww you mad Penguin rat?

    • cepheus50510 - Apr 11, 2012 at 11:54 PM

      You douche-riddled predators fans see one flukey home game win off of some straight up garb-goals and all of a sudden this series is over. Those whistles aren’t going to be able to dictate the game’s pace all series–You have no idea what the Wings are about to do to you when they’re actually allowed to possess the puck. YOUR only hope is that you find a new “Captain” quick. Weber wearing a C….that’s just embarrassing.

      • vshehane - Apr 13, 2012 at 11:49 AM

        Sorry little crybaby, you were so wrong.

  7. dougr42 - Apr 11, 2012 at 11:45 PM

    so will he get fined by the league for something like this? Torts would.

  8. rodgy10 - Apr 11, 2012 at 11:49 PM

    Babcock sure does whine a lot, NOBODY gets more favorable calls then the redwings ….

    • dangle13x - Apr 11, 2012 at 11:52 PM

      Yea based on what exactly? Your blatant ignorance? Ignore the fact that you yourself are the whining moron..

    • michiganhockey11 - Apr 12, 2012 at 11:17 AM

      From the calls last night (and the fact that Gary “What Would Vince McMahon Do?” Bettman chose this game to attend) it is VERY obvious that Nashville is one of Bettman’s “projects” this year.

      Don’t forget the unpunished after the whistle/ game stickwork of Geno and the Kid a couple of years ago when Bettman was trying to pump that franchise. Instigating less than 5min to go is instant cause for ejection/suspension. Did Malkin get tossed for going after Zetterberg then? Oh, and the thirty second too many men situation where the Ref’s were caught live on mike telling the Penn’s to pull somebody off the ice.

      Webber should do a Slim Jim commercial……

      If Phoenix wins the cup this year, will Bettman present the cup to himself?

    • frozenmona68 - Apr 12, 2012 at 2:26 PM

      do you watch the games? or are you just a wings hater running your mouth?

  9. wicky888 - Apr 12, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    Didnt see the game, so I cant comment on the calibur of calls. I will say this: Looking back on the last ten years of stats via, Detroit is always top 5 in terms of penalty mins/game. The Flyers are always bottom 5, except for 2005-2006 where Detroit was top 5 and the Flyers were 10th. 10 year time span, different rosters, different players, different coaches, different rules, different NHL all together.

    Thats 10 years of getting sh!t on by the NHL and their refs, and this guy has the nerve to complain about one game? A game in which the calls were never lopsided? A game in which his team got the better end of the calls and 2 ppgs while the other team got none? Really?

    Cry me an F-ing river.

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