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Mike Babcock praises Red Wings' physical game

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DETROIT -- Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock likes the potential for his team to be more physical this season -- and he's not referring to just racking up hits.

Being physical also is about being strong on the puck, grinding it, cycling it and wearing down opponents by making them chase you all night long.

"The more physical we can be, the better opportunity I believe this team has," Babcock said. "I think we can skill our way around the rink, but if we work and we're gritty and we're determined, we're a much better team."

Babcock bemoaned a lack of physicality in losses to St. Louis and Colorado earlier this season. He had no such complaints after Thursday's 4-3 loss at Nashville.

Even though the Red Wings squandered a lead in the last five minutes, they dominated territorially, and Babcock liked the way his players responded to the Predators' physical ways.

"It's not how big you are, it's how big you play," Babcock said. "Some guys that weigh 180 play 210, and you got guys that are 220 that play 150. So you got to decide who you want to be and how hard on the puck you want to be."

Forward Justin Abdelkader said they can be skilled and gritty.

"I think we have a group that can not only skate, but can be physical, play with grit," Abdelkader said. "That's important, especially as you get through the second half of the year and the playoffs. You see a team like Boston, they won (the Stanley Cup) with grit and determination. They were physical."

The Red Wings are not as big and abrasive as the Bruins, but they don't need to be to have success.

"When people say physical, I mean being hard to play against," Abdelkader said. "There's a lot of things that factor into being physical, not just hitting."

When you possess the puck as much as the Red Wings, you're not going to be hitting as much.

"If you're looking at a physical team, we wouldn't be at the top of the list," forward Danny Cleary said. "But if the game calls for it or if it's what we need to do, we seem to be able to do that."

The Red Wings will take a nine-game home winning streak into tonight's game against the Los Angeles Kings, who fired coach Terry Murray earlier this week, replacing him with John Stevens, after a disappointing start.

http://www.mlive.com...ed_wings_1.html

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Babcock gets it.

It seems when this team is losing (which isnt often now but in the past) they continually try to keep skilling their way around the rink even when it isnt working. WHich is very frustrating to watch.

I still think if this team had a bit tougher bottom 6 and replaced guys like Emmerton or Miller who try to do the skill thing and cant play physical very well at all (especially Emmerton)the wings would be better off. Its not impossible to find guys who can play hockey and be tough to play against. Its not about finding a Milan Lucic, but there are guys out there that could play as much as Miller and Emmerton and be just as effective while providing the ability to set a physical tone. Kenny should be looking at Gaustad, Moen and Prust this offseason.

There are other options and as much as people hate Tootoo, he has been playing great hockey and could be that physical spark Detroit needs.

Daniel Winnik or Cody Mcleod could be good as well.

I will say that the D is probably one of the more physical in the league actually and is pretty good in that regard now but the forwards need something. Any those guys above on the fourth line could help, or putting Shane Doan in the top 6 could as well.

I know I'm gonna take heat for suggesting Tootoo because I know how everyone feels about him but hes already got 13 points and plays a very physical game. He also hasnt done anything cheap this year. He hit Miller but he was driving to the net hard.

EDIT: -2 already LGW doesnt take long to disappoint. I'm assuming this is about what I said regarding Tootoo. Do any of you take the time to realize hes actually only 6 points off of what Abdelkader and Miller produced all of last season.

The guy seemed to really turn the corner as a player instead of just a goon out there but oh well, you guys think what you want haha

Edited by newfy

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Babcock gets it.

It seems when this team is losing (which isnt often now but in the past) they continually try to keep skilling their way around the rink even when it isnt working. WHich is very frustrating to watch.

I still think if this team had a bit tougher bottom 6 and replaced guys like Emmerton or Miller who try to do the skill thing and cant play physical very well at all (especially Emmerton)the wings would be better off. Its not impossible to find guys who can play hockey and be tough to play against. Its not about finding a Milan Lucic, but there are guys out there that could play as much as Miller and Emmerton and be just as effective while providing the ability to set a physical tone. Kenny should be looking at Gaustad, Moen and Prust this offseason.

There are other options and as much as people hate Tootoo, he has been playing great hockey and could be that physical spark Detroit needs.

Daniel Winnik or Cody Mcleod could be good as well.

I will say that the D is probably one of the more physical in the league actually and is pretty good in that regard now but the forwards need something. Any those guys above on the fourth line could help, or putting Shane Doan in the top 6 could as well.

I know I'm gonna take heat for suggesting Tootoo because I know how everyone feels about him but hes already got 13 points and plays a very physical game. He also hasnt done anything cheap this year. He hit Miller but he was driving to the net hard.

You got negged for a reasonable and well thought out post, which is ridiculous. I'm guessing because you think the Wings need to be more physical? or mentioned Tootoo?

I wouldn't ever want Tootoo on the Wings, but agree in general.

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You got negged for a reasonable and well thought out post, which is ridiculous. I'm guessing because you think the Wings need to be more physical? or mentioned Tootoo?

I wouldn't ever want Tootoo on the Wings, but agree in general.

Too many people on LGW don't like the idea of any player being moved.

Seems like a bunch of fanboy slappies that would rather lose in the 2nd round with this roster than win the Cup with a few new players being added in return for some current ones. Apparently, everyone outside of Ericsson and Hudler are untouchable. How dare any poster propose a reasonable idea about moving some people?

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You got negged for a reasonable and well thought out post, which is ridiculous. I'm guessing because you think the Wings need to be more physical? or mentioned Tootoo?

I wouldn't ever want Tootoo on the Wings, but agree in general.

Why do people still care about those points?

People are going to like your posts and dislike your posts for many reasons. When it comes to physicality, it's going to be a divided issue regarding viewpoints. Thought we knew that already.

Honestly, I'm just happy that the team is winning and playing a style that works. Physical or not, they are doing what needs to be done to win hockey games, and when/if they move around some pieces to get better, it will be even better.

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Honestly, I'm just happy that the team is winning and playing a style that works. Physical or not, they are doing what needs to be done to win hockey games, and when/if they move around some pieces to get better, it will be even better.

I agree with the theyre winning part and even mentioned in my post, but with physicality playing a big role in hockey, it shouldnt be something that a coach has to praise. It should be second nature that they guys are going to play physical on the other team. This team doesnt really have anything to go to when the skill doesnt work, which in a playoff series you might as well for one game if youre getting blown out put the fear of god into the other team and wear them down a bit.

As long as theyre winning I'm happy, but once they stop winning because the skill isnt working I'll be on my usual rant once again :thumbup:

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Babcock gets it.

It seems when this team is losing (which isnt often now but in the past) they continually try to keep skilling their way around the rink even when it isnt working. WHich is very frustrating to watch.

I still think if this team had a bit tougher bottom 6 and replaced guys like Emmerton or Miller who try to do the skill thing and cant play physical very well at all (especially Emmerton)the wings would be better off. Its not impossible to find guys who can play hockey and be tough to play against. Its not about finding a Milan Lucic, but there are guys out there that could play as much as Miller and Emmerton and be just as effective while providing the ability to set a physical tone. Kenny should be looking at Gaustad, Moen and Prust this offseason.

There are other options and as much as people hate Tootoo, he has been playing great hockey and could be that physical spark Detroit needs.

Daniel Winnik or Cody Mcleod could be good as well.

I will say that the D is probably one of the more physical in the league actually and is pretty good in that regard now but the forwards need something. Any those guys above on the fourth line could help, or putting Shane Doan in the top 6 could as well.

I know I'm gonna take heat for suggesting Tootoo because I know how everyone feels about him but hes already got 13 points and plays a very physical game. He also hasnt done anything cheap this year. He hit Miller but he was driving to the net hard.

EDIT: -2 already LGW doesnt take long to disappoint. I'm assuming this is about what I said regarding Tootoo. Do any of you take the time to realize hes actually only 6 points off of what Abdelkader and Miller produced all of last season.

The guy seemed to really turn the corner as a player instead of just a goon out there but oh well, you guys think what you want haha

Agree with everything in this post. Newf, you get it, my man. I've got a huge list of guys we should consider that can put up a few points and play physical and I'll be posting it many times in the future. Everyone knows my thoughts on this.

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Why do people still care about those points?

People are going to like your posts and dislike your posts for many reasons. When it comes to physicality, it's going to be a divided issue regarding viewpoints. Thought we knew that already.

Honestly, I'm just happy that the team is winning and playing a style that works. Physical or not, they are doing what needs to be done to win hockey games, and when/if they move around some pieces to get better, it will be even better.

I don't care about points, but I think it's just indicative of a larger problem here. Stupid, trolling posts should get negged. I don't get negging someone just because you disagree with their point.

It'd be nice if reasonable, intelligent hockey discussion was welcomed here even if it suggests changes to the team.

Edited by haroldsnepsts
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You got negged for a reasonable and well thought out post, which is ridiculous. I'm guessing because you think the Wings need to be more physical? or mentioned Tootoo?

I wouldn't ever want Tootoo on the Wings, but agree in general.

Gave you a plus just because I don't understand why someone would neg your post.

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I don't care about points, but I think it's just indicative of a larger problem here. Stupid, trolling posts should get negged. I don't get negging someone just because you disagree with their point.

It'd be nice if reasonable, intelligent hockey discussion was welcomed here even if it suggests changes to the team.

I get neggin' a post if you don't agree with it. i don't get neggin' people based on the fact you don't like them or if you disagree you just neg' them and don't refute their post.

Being physical isn't about punching people in the face, it's about battling hard and finishing checks. If your third and fourth line has a wide margin in goal differential (being positive) I don't see a need for a guy who doesn't contribute anything positive except knuckle draggin' with the occasional point. I like 3rd and 4th liners who put up 20 points a season. If they can fight/finish checks and put up 20 points, i prefer them over 20 point producers who don't check and/or fight.

(This post wasn't directed at you harold or anyone in general, just my two cents on what physicality is and the importance on this team)

Also, I +1'd you because I agree with basically everything you said. believe it or not, i enjoy intelligent convos here lol

Edited by Konnan511

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Hey, its nice and all that we have smaller guys with a bit of skill who are working hard and playing "physical", the problem comes when we play the likes of San Jose whose 2, 3rd and 4th liners are just as skilled, just as quick, and just as hard working, but 3-4 inches taller and 10-20lbs heavier.

I do worry that our bottom six especially, no matter how hard working, speedy and skilled is just a little bit undersized for the playoffs. Having said that, our defencemen seem the most physical around the net that I've seen for years.

It is amusing however that for certain people in this thread, being "physical" simply means fighting.

Edited by Nev

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Hey, its nice and all that we have smaller guys with a bit of skill who are working hard and playing "physical", the problem comes when we play the likes of San Jose whose 2, 3rd and 4th liners are just as skilled, just as quick, and just as hard working, but 3-4 inches taller and 10-20lbs heavier.

I do worry that our bottom six especially, no matter how hard working, speedy and skilled is just a little bit undersized for the playoffs. Having said that, our defencemen seem the most physical around the net that I've seen for years.

It is amusing however that for certain people in this thread, being "physical" simply means fighting.

And it's amusing that people think, in this thread, equate bigger players with being more physical. You give and you get.

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And it's amusing that people think, in this thread, equate bigger players with being more physical. You give and you get.

With more physical, no I wouldnt say that. As wings fans we know what Franzen is like.

I would say, being effectively physical is equated with size however. Hudler has been actually throwing his weight around a bit this year, same with Connor but when those guys are setting up the cycle (which this article is considering physical), those 2 get manhandled in the corner and the cycle is broken up.

When Bertuzzi and Abdelkader decide to protect the puck down low, he doesnt get knocked off of it, cant say the same about Hudler, Connor or a few others.

Its a nice thought to think that its all about the size of the fight in the dog, but in pro sports its often the bigger dog who wins those battles

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All players should be physical in some way, shape or form.

Maybe like Sauron some players need the one ring in order to take physical form.

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Babcock gets it.

It seems when this team is losing (which isnt often now but in the past) they continually try to keep skilling their way around the rink even when it isnt working. WHich is very frustrating to watch.

I still think if this team had a bit tougher bottom 6 and replaced guys like Emmerton or Miller who try to do the skill thing and cant play physical very well at all (especially Emmerton)the wings would be better off. Its not impossible to find guys who can play hockey and be tough to play against. Its not about finding a Milan Lucic, but there are guys out there that could play as much as Miller and Emmerton and be just as effective while providing the ability to set a physical tone. Kenny should be looking at Gaustad, Moen and Prust this offseason.

There are other options and as much as people hate Tootoo, he has been playing great hockey and could be that physical spark Detroit needs.

Daniel Winnik or Cody Mcleod could be good as well.

I will say that the D is probably one of the more physical in the league actually and is pretty good in that regard now but the forwards need something. Any those guys above on the fourth line could help, or putting Shane Doan in the top 6 could as well.

I know I'm gonna take heat for suggesting Tootoo because I know how everyone feels about him but hes already got 13 points and plays a very physical game. He also hasnt done anything cheap this year. He hit Miller but he was driving to the net hard.

EDIT: -2 already LGW doesnt take long to disappoint. I'm assuming this is about what I said regarding Tootoo. Do any of you take the time to realize hes actually only 6 points off of what Abdelkader and Miller produced all of last season.

The guy seemed to really turn the corner as a player instead of just a goon out there but oh well, you guys think what you want haha

McLeod would be the s*** for the Wings. I'd say TooToo as well, but I feel you need a legit heavy weight around to back a player like him up.

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Too many people on LGW don't like the idea of any player being moved.

Seems like a bunch of fanboy slappies that would rather lose in the 2nd round with this roster than win the Cup with a few new players being added in return for some current ones. Apparently, everyone outside of Ericsson and Hudler are untouchable. How dare any poster propose a reasonable idea about moving some people?

And you seem like a self-styled expert GM who is either incapable of considering any intangibles of management and team chemistry or simply refuses to.

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Too many people on LGW don't like the idea of any player being moved.

Seems like a bunch of fanboy slappies that would rather lose in the 2nd round with this roster than win the Cup with a few new players being added in return for some current ones. Apparently, everyone outside of Ericsson and Hudler are untouchable. How dare any poster propose a reasonable idea about moving some people?

Players on the Wings who are untouchable and shouldn't be moved:

- Zata, Datsyuk, Lidstrom, Kronwall, Filppula, Franzen, Helm.

Players not on that last that do NOT have a NTC/NMC:

- Hudler + the bottom six of forwards. Ian White, Commie, Kindl.

Players who won't be traded because of offseason deals:

White. Commie.

Players who won't be traded due to Lidstrom's final season:

Kindl

So we have Hudler or anyone not named Helm on the bottom six that can be traded. Miller, Eaves, COnner, Emmerton have zero trade value. Maybe we could get a super crappy player for Abby? Hudler is the only viable option. He's having a great year and is to become a UFA.

So what do you propose? If it's anything that proposes a non top six player to be brought in, then we are SOL.

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Players who won't be traded due to Lidstrom's final season:

Kindl

Ive never understood this mentality. Why is this the case, a 24 year old dman is nice to have cause hes young and he has a bit of potential, but its quite obvious hes no Lidstrom replacement.. He only plays at even strength.

Especially with Smith coming up next season, it really makes Kindl expendable. I also think we all love Helm but I dont tihnk hes untouchable. If Calgary offered Iginla for Helm straight up at the deadline I think the wings do it, but not for those other guys they wouldnt

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Ive never understood this mentality. Why is this the case, a 24 year old dman is nice to have cause hes young and he has a bit of potential, but its quite obvious hes no Lidstrom replacement.. He only plays at even strength.

Especially with Smith coming up next season, it really makes Kindl expendable. I also think we all love Helm but I dont tihnk hes untouchable. If Calgary offered Iginla for Helm straight up at the deadline I think the wings do it, but not for those other guys they wouldnt

Agreed.

Kindl's having a good year and developing nicely. But as you touched on, Smith is much more like Kindl than Ericsson, with a lot more top end potential. If anything this potentially being Lidstrom's last season makes Kindl even more trade bait. Kindl certainly isn't going to come close to replacing Lids, so I don't understand how Lidstrom's retirement affects trading him. (For the record, this doesn't mean I don't like Kindl.)

I wouldn't want to see him go, but I also agree that Helm probably isn't untouchable if the right player is available. They don't do it very often, but the Wings traded Kozlov to bring in Hasek. This isn't quite the same but given Lidstrom's limited future with the team, if Holland were ever going to make a blockbuster move this would be the season.

Edited by haroldsnepsts

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Players on the Wings who are untouchable and shouldn't be moved:

- Zata, Datsyuk, Lidstrom, Kronwall, Filppula, Franzen, Helm.

Players not on that last that do NOT have a NTC/NMC:

- Hudler + the bottom six of forwards. Ian White, Commie, Kindl.

Players who won't be traded because of offseason deals:

White. Commie.

Players who won't be traded due to Lidstrom's final season:

Kindl

So we have Hudler or anyone not named Helm on the bottom six that can be traded. Miller, Eaves, COnner, Emmerton have zero trade value. Maybe we could get a super crappy player for Abby? Hudler is the only viable option. He's having a great year and is to become a UFA.

So what do you propose? If it's anything that proposes a non top six player to be brought in, then we are SOL.

I've told you this before, but I don't think Fillpulla belongs on that top list of untradeable players. He's the guy other teams would want the most that I can envision Holland thinking about trading. Holland won't trade Datsyuk, Zetterberg or Kronwall of course. However, for the right deal, Holland could move Flip, especially if it means increasing our chances of landing some big name for a Cup run.

And there's also Stuart. He has a NTC, but he's talked about wanting to play close to California or something. If he's not going to be here long term, moving him would make sense. Maybe send him to Phoenix or Anaheim.

I just don't think we can sit on our cap space at the deadline and act like there's no viable options whatsoever. I hope Holland is more creative than that.

Oh and Kindl has played decent, but why can't he be moved? You make it sound like he's the frontrunner for the Calder trophy or something. He's not untouchable in my book.

Edited by GMRwings1983

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I've told you this before, but I don't think Fillpulla belongs on that top list of untradeable players. He's the guy other teams would want the most that I can envision Holland thinking about trading. Holland won't trade Datsyuk, Zetterberg or Kronwall of course. However, for the right deal, Holland could move Flip, especially if it means increasing our chances of landing some big name for a Cup run.

And there's also Stuart. He has a NTC, but he's talked about wanting to play close to California or something. If he's not going to be here long term, moving him would make sense. Maybe send him to Phoenix or Anaheim.

I just don't think we can sit on our cap space at the deadline and act like there's no viable options whatsoever. I hope Holland is more creative than that.

Oh and Kindl has played decent, but why can't he be moved? You make it sound like he's the frontrunner for the Calder trophy or something. He's not untouchable in my book.

I don't make it sound that way at all.

Filppula is not going anywhere, I'm sorry you hate soft Euros, but he is the future core of this team and he is not going anywhere.

If we could convince Stuart to wave his NTC, let's do it. We can also land some good players with fat contracts that won't take a whole lot to get i.e. mid tier prospects and/or high draft picks. So I'm not too sure why a roster player even needs to be moved unless it's Emmerton/Commie continually being waived.

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