May 29, 2013, 3:57 PM EDT
Mike Babcock is jacked up for tonight’s big game.
That’s because his Red Wings will take on the Blackhawks at the United Center in a do-or-die Game 7 — the winner advances to the Western Conference finals, the loser goes home for the year.
While the stakes are high, Babcock says the situation couldn’t be more fun.
“We talk about Game 7 sometimes like it’s something to avoid,” Babcock said in his pregame media availability. “It’s as much fun as you can have in hockey. That’s what it is. It’s about having fun.”
Interesting to hear Babcock describe Game 7 in such fashion.
Yesterday, Kings head coach Darryl Sutter shared almost the polar opposite opinion prior to the Los Angeles-San Jose series decider.
“Game 7s are not that big a deal when you look at it,” he told reporters, as per Mayor’s Manor. “It’s winning the fourth game that’s a lot bigger, and that’s what is way more important.
“Game 7 is, quite honest, for outside the locker room [gestures to media] to make a big deal out of it. It’s not that important.”
Babcock’s message couldn’t be more different — or more consistent.
He’s been raving about the chance to play in Game 7 ever since Detroit lost Game 6 at the Joe, saying he “loves Game 7s” and that, “if I would’ve told Detroit and Michigan we would play in Chicago in Game 7, I think everybody would be excited.”
On Wednesday, he re-iterated his excitement and said his team would be ready to go.
“When you do what you’re supposed to and you’re organized and you trust your teammates and you trust your structure,” Babcock explained, “let’s play!”
- Big money: Tarasenko signs eight-year, $60 million extension with Blues 75
- Blackhawks extend TVR through 2017-18 3
- Good start: McDavid scores five in Oilers scrimmage 33
- Caps ink Kuznetsov to two-year, $6 million extension 9
- Bruins sign three — Hayes, Connolly, and DeFazio 12
- Babcock expects Kadri to be ‘an elite player’ 15
- No expansion bid expected from Kansas City 37
- Leafs sign Matthias — one year, $2.3 million 17
- Report: Kopitar, Kings in ‘early stages of negotiations’ for extension 12
- Arbitration filed: Holtby, Nyquist & Stepan highlight list released by NHLPA 15
- Blockbuster: Kessel traded to the Penguins (131)
- Expansion process underway as NHL sends out applications (94)
- Big money: Tarasenko signs eight-year, $60 million extension with Blues (76)
- Sabres lock up O’Reilly through 2022-23 (74)
- Trade: Caps acquire Oshie from Blues for Brouwer, Copley and draft pick (73)