Skip to content

Babcock explains how the Red Wings have to play now

Feb 14, 2013, 11:34 AM EDT

Mike Babcock

Those of you who enjoy the X’s and O’s of hockey will probably enjoy this MLive.com article in which Detroit coach Mike Babcock explains how the loss of puck-moving defensemen like Nicklas Lidstrom, Brian Rafalski and Brad Stuart has changed the look of the Red Wings.

No longer, Babcock explains, can they rely so much on stretching the ice with long passes; instead, they have to move more as a five-man unit if they want to push the play and keep control of the puck.

“We have to be closer and tighter and more available and better defensively, and sometimes it’s not very pretty, but that’s just the way it is,” Babcock said.

The key, he says, is to be able to hit the opponent’s blue line with speed, which either produces an entry while maintaining possession or a dump and chase with a good chance of retrieval.

“The game’s real simple, the more time you spend in your zone, the less time you spend in their zone, the more you dump the puck because you got no speed on the rush,” Babcock said.

“If you’re efficient coming out and move the puck and you do it right once, you’re coming with speed, you don’t have to dump the puck, you probably get some sort of entry, or at least you give up possession and get it right back. Dumping the puck is awful when you’re just dumping it in and changing. You spend the whole game in your own zone wearing yourself out.”

In a related story, if Babcock can help keep the Red Wings (7-4-2) in the upper echelon of the Western Conference and extend the team’s consecutive playoff appearances streak to 22, he should be right there in the coach of the year discussions.

Related: Zetterberg ‘may be as good as I’ve seen him,’ says Kronwall

Latest Posts
  1. Richards: I gave Lombardi ‘my word’ I’d work harder in the offseason

    Sep 16, 2014, 1:40 PM EDT

    2014 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Five Getty Images

    Kings forward “didn’t want to become a free agent and leave” L.A.

  2. Blues bringing BizNasty to camp

    Sep 16, 2014, 12:45 PM EDT

    Coyotes Blues Hockey AP

    That’s him getting tossed around by Ryan Reaves.

  3. Daly, Holmgren honored with Lester Patrick Trophy

    Sep 16, 2014, 11:58 AM EDT

    billdalygetty Getty Images

    For “outstanding service to hockey in the United States.”

  4. After trip to neurologist, Clowe on track for training camp

    Sep 16, 2014, 11:45 AM EDT

    NEWARK, NJ - JANUARY 24: Ryane Clowe #29 of the New Jersey Devils takes the puck in the second period against the Washington Capitals at Prudential Center on January 24, 2014 in Newark, New Jersey. Getty Images

    Veteran power forward is trying to return from another concussion.

  5. Hitchcock’s advice to Mueller on making Blues: just play

    Sep 16, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT

    Mathias Seger, Peter Mueller AP

    The recently signed forward hopes to stick with “powerhouse” team.

  6. PHT Morning Skate: When ugly can be a good thing

    Sep 16, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

    victorgreen

    Tuesday’s collection of links.

  7. B’s Lucic admits his wrist isn’t fully healed

    Sep 16, 2014, 12:45 AM EDT

    Boston Bruins v Detroit Red Wings - Game Three Getty Images

    “It’s turned the corner for the better as far as rehab has gone.”

  8. Video: Teravainen’s beautiful pass leaves Blackhawks fans beaming

    Sep 15, 2014, 11:45 PM EDT

    Dallas Stars v Chicago Blackhawks Getty Images

    It’s tremendous even if it was in a prospects game.

  9. Red Wings’ tryout invite Robinson is fully conscious after being hospitalized

    Sep 15, 2014, 9:49 PM EDT

    redwingslogo

    The team says he has “full movement” following a boarding hit.

  10. Habs’ Price expects to be 100 percent to start 2014-15

    Sep 15, 2014, 9:05 PM EDT

    Carey Price AP

    Some optimism about how his knee is feeling.

  11. No deal yet for Handzus, who hopes to continue NHL career

    Sep 15, 2014, 7:00 PM EDT

    Minnesota Wild v Chicago Blackhawks - Game Two Getty Images

    He’s reportedly talking to several teams.

  12. With camp looming, DeKeyser’s anxious to reach deal with Detroit

    Sep 15, 2014, 5:30 PM EDT

    Danny DeKeyser, Matt Bartkowski AP

    “I still think something will get done before camp.”

  13. Report: Jets invite veteran goalie Taylor to camp

    Sep 15, 2014, 2:52 PM EDT

    DannyTaylor

    Former Kings, Flames netminder lands in an interesting spot.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. D. Alfredsson (1302)
  2. S. Bennett (1277)
  3. D. Kuemper (1265)
  4. P. Rinne (1250)
  5. K. Timonen (1207)