This post is a little rant, a little frustration, a snippet from a little scouting left in me, a little plea and a bunch of disappointment.
As a speaker who is often asked to talk about dreams, I ran out and preordered Coach Mike Babcock’s book- Leave No Doubt – a Credo for Chasing Your Dreams. A hockey book which mentions dreams and advice from a coach known for his motivation . The book was excellent with daily living advice that goes way beyond hockey.
My favorite quote that I use all the time from Coach Babcock is :
What makes success? First work ethic, second the will to win, and finally talent.
Last night and most of this short season, I saw little of the first two ingredients.
Watching the game “live” amplified these shortcomings. I saw players going through the motions vs. players with a desire to win. I saw a HUGE lack of leadership. A void Nick Lidstrom and before him Stevie “Y” provided for years. It is a role that screams for someone to provide. Captain Zetterberg, an outstanding player, was out last night but also is not the leader the team desperately needs.
It appears Mike Ilitch has lost interest in the team and has moved his purse to the Tigers. I see a sale of the Wings in the near future with Ilitch no longer caring about the product on the ice and looking for cash to pursue new projects on his radar. Mr. Ilitch is a great man, a leader in the Detroit area, a leader in youth hockey but I think the Wings to him, are an interest and challenge of the past.
I saw last night basically the Grand Rapids Amway Griffins with some unenthused veterans mixed in. Pavel Datsyuk was a pleasure to watch as always. Justin Abdelkader worked hard as a grinder. Justin Tootoo the closest thing the Wings have to an enforcer was tossed like a ragdoll head first into the bench. Ian White and Carlo Colaiacone were back in the line up but struggled greatly. Kronwell is so gun shy of being suspended he leaves his big hits at home. I had hoped to see Danny DeKeyser play to see if there is a sparkle of hope coming on defense.
The entire defense played “soft”. They backed carefully into corners and forgot they had bodies as they would only check with a hand on the hip or a hand on the shoulder of a Colorado player. Those hands were also “gently” placed.
The Wings rarely went into the corners agressively and when they did they were very manhandled.
Some may agrue the Wings have limited talent to work with. If that is true it is very sad for Hockey Town.
I suggest Coach Babcock goes back to his own basics I greatly admire -get players who want to win and work hard.
I think the Coach has a challege he hasn’t seen in many years. Don’t be surprised to see many moves in the off season. Mr. Ilitch please let them rebuild and open at least your piggybank if not your checkbook once again!
What makes success? First work ethic, second the will to win, and finally talent. -Mike Babcock (Red Wings Coach)