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Babcock: Is he the right guy going forward?


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#1 clutchngrab

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 12:46 AM

I want to step back from the frustration that I feel about who plays and who doesn't and under what situations.  Let's have a discussion about Babcock's strengths and weaknesses as the RW coach. Here's my take:

 

What I've come to realize is that coaches like Babcock - at this point of his tenure - will make decisions which protect his own interest as opposed to what's best for the team.  Every coach in one way or another tries to protect his job.  With Babcock it's all about security and who he perceives he can trust.  For him that means safe, formulaic decision like playing Cleary in situations where he has had success in the past - even though the current evidence suggests otherwise.  I could go one about other personnel decisions, but it's clear that Babcock is a very conservative guy that wants to fall back on what has worked in the past.

 

My belief is that he has made questionable ice time decisions from the 2009 finals going forward.  He doesn't reward or punish players based on game-time performance.  He has a vision of what he thinks should work and doesn't stray from it regardless of the on-ice evidence.  

 

Having said all that, I have no idea to what extent what goes on in practice effects who plays.

 

Don't get me wrong - I think he is a heart and soul kind of guy that believes in all the good work ethic type things, but I think he lacks the game management skills that good coaches in any sport have.  Coaches have to adjust to the situation at hand despite all well thought out plans. Up to recently, this ability has been less important due to the nature of the talent the wings could always put on the ice. Plug in the personnel and see what happens... Not too hard when more often then not higher skill beats lesser. 

 

However, those days are past us and the post-Lidstrom days are upon us. Babcock needs to coach in a different way.  He needs to motivate as well as manage on-ice personnel in a much more dynamic way then he has had to before.

 

Frankly, based on evidence, I don't think he is up to it - but I'd like to create a discussion around it.


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#2 rick zombo

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 01:01 AM

The biggest questions marks with Babcock have always been roster decisions, playing time, and line management IMO

But he's lead this patch-work team to a 7-4-2 record. That's almost Adam's worthy.

FTR I blame the assistant's for the terrible special teams play.
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#3 Crymson

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 01:02 AM

Yes, he is the right guy moving forward. Case closed.



#4 clutchngrab

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 01:04 AM

Yes, he is the right guy moving forward. Case closed.

Why?


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#5 clutchngrab

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 01:09 AM

The biggest questions marks with Babcock have always been roster decisions, playing time, and line management IMO

But he's lead this patch-work team to a 7-4-2 record. That's almost Adam's worthy.

FTR I blame the assistant's for the terrible special teams play.

Well, on any given night it's tough to know what to expect from the wings.  That's why I think ice and bench management is so important.  How many times have we seen bad shifts turn into goals over the last couple years?  How long does the head coach get to dodge the responsibility of the assistants?  People have been hammering the assistants for 3 years now - yet the head coach bears no responsibility?


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#6 BuckeyeWingsfan80

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 01:15 AM

I don't think the time is right quite yet to go down this route.  Babcock has had a legit HOF'er Dman retire on him and he's been left with a patchwork.

 

That said, eventually this question will raise it's head when the Wings eventually (probably within 5 years) head into a rebuilding phase.


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#7 matt198913

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 01:18 AM

I didn't even read the argument in here. One of the most ridiculous questions I've ever heard.


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#8 Crymson

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 01:19 AM

Why?

 

Because he's one of the best coaches in the league. He's not perfect, but he's a damned sight less imperfect than the vast majority of coaches in the league.

 

You seem to think that any change will yield positive results. That is nonsense.



#9 clutchngrab

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 01:31 AM

I don't think the time is right quite yet to go down this route.  Babcock has had a legit HOF'er Dman retire on him and he's been left with a patchwork.

 

That said, eventually this question will raise it's head when the Wings eventually (probably within 5 years) head into a rebuilding phase.

 

I agree about the patchwork to a point (thanks to the GM), however, the goal is not to have a rebuilding phase.  You want to breathe enough life through player development and acquisitions to fine tune every year so as to remain at least as competitive as the year before.  You want to be in a position where as a coach and GM you are prepared to transition from old to young on an as needed basis.   I haven't seen the wings do this very well since 2009.

 

Look - Everyone one knew Lidstrom was retiring.


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#10 Nev

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 01:34 AM

If he Babcock isn't the right guy going forward, you need to come up with a serious, realistic option of a better coach who is available.

 

We're 5th in the west with no 3rd or 4th lines, a bunch of 6/7 guys on defence and a bucketload of injuries.  What more do you want?


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#11 clutchngrab

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 01:38 AM

Because he's one of the best coaches in the league. He's not perfect, but he's a damned sight less imperfect than the vast majority of coaches in the league.

 

You seem to think that any change will yield positive results. That is nonsense.

 

My intention was not to say any change would be better, I just wanted to have a discussion  around whether Babcock is still the right coach around a team that is clearly less talented than those in the past and whether is "auto-pilot" approach to bench management and ice time can work with this group.


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#12 The Axe

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 01:39 AM

Babcock has to play the guys Holland signs, so I dont point the finger at Babs too much. We have a trio of old softies (Bertuzzi, Cleary, Samuelsson) that need to be axed. But the coach cant just make the GM look bad. Babs has to play who Kenny brings in. If Babs has a big part in those signings, then thats another story.

#13 clutchngrab

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 01:49 AM

If he Babcock isn't the right guy going forward, you need to come up with a serious, realistic option of a better coach who is available.

 

We're 5th in the west with no 3rd or 4th lines, a bunch of 6/7 guys on defence and a bucketload of injuries.  What more do you want?

 

I don't necessarily want a different coach, just one that can react to the adversity you point out in a game time situation.  We've lost a tone of games over the last few years around either PP/PK, shift changes or ice time management.

 

Every team sport is the same.  You have your x's and o's and then you have the decisions you make during the game that have nothing to do with what you planned.  Some (few) coaches are good at reading the game and adjusting and some are not.  Babcock, in my opinion, is not.  To some extent this how we blew a 3-1 lead in the 2009 finals.


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#14 clutchngrab

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 01:57 AM

Babcock has to play the guys Holland signs, so I dont point the finger at Babs too much. We have a trio of old softies (Bertuzzi, Cleary, Samuelsson) that need to be axed. But the coach cant just make the GM look bad. Babs has to play who Kenny brings in. If Babs has a big part in those signings, then thats another story.

 

I'd happily create another thread about the shortcomings of said GM over the last couple years, but I'll save that for later.  You do make a great point about how the relationship between the coach and GM can be subtly complex and can effect what a coach can do.   I guess as a coach you need to be a bit strategic about who you bench or not - however that shouldn't change too much how ice time is divvied up.


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#15 The Axe

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 02:02 AM

 
I'd happily create another thread about the shortcomings of said GM over the last couple years, but I'll save that for later.  You do make a great point about how the relationship between the coach and GM can be subtly complex and can effect what a coach can do.   I guess as a coach you need to be a bit strategic about who you bench or not - however that shouldn't change too much how ice time is divvied up.


Agreed. Babcock coaching decisions on ice time and lines are his and his alone. Those have been questionable as of late.

#16 clutchngrab

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 02:08 AM

I didn't even read the argument in here. One of the most ridiculous questions I've ever heard.

 

My bad - probably should read:  "Babcock:  Can he adjust to the post-Lidstrom era"

 

Way less emotional eh?


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#17 Euro_Twins

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 02:21 AM

I agree about the patchwork to a point (thanks to the GM), however, the goal is not to have a rebuilding phase.  You want to breathe enough life through player development and acquisitions to fine tune every year so as to remain at least as competitive as the year before.  You want to be in a position where as a coach and GM you are prepared to transition from old to young on an as needed basis.   I haven't seen the wings do this very well since 2009.

 

Look - Everyone one knew Lidstrom was retiring.

 

Wow, no offense but this comes off as a spoiled brat writing this. We have become accustomed to winning every year as wings fans. The problem with the cap era is it's nearly impossible to have seamless transitions every time your stars retire/leave, and we have had 3/4 of our top dmen either retire or leave in the last 3 years. Unfortunately we didn't have any stars that were nhl ready in the pipeline, and we couldn't get the big signings to ease a transition. It is the end of an era, no matter what coach we have, unless our prospects become superstars, our 20 year reign of terror  is closing up, you can't win forever. I've been lucky enough to see my team win 4 cups, most people can't even say they've seen 2, Babs has been an awesome coach, and he is not the problem. We have done awesome thus far with the team we have, and I am happy to be able to just watch hockey, win or lose, I love watching the wings. Babcock leaving won't solve a thing



#18 frankgrimes

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 03:42 AM

Look at the team Babcock has this season and this will answer your question. He is the best coach in all of hockey without a question, Babcock is human and will make mistakes like everyone else but given the roster he has currently I think he is doing an amazing job. Wings are without a top pairing defensive, lost an alltime great and aren't allowed to use their money to their advance -->tough situation to be in.

 

Our owner would easily spend 100 m just to ice a winner year in year out, but he isn't allowed to do so :(


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#19 JasonNewEra

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 04:29 AM

I'm more concerned over who's in charge of the Power Play... How bout that first?


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#20 Adidarw

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 05:58 AM

The Wings had a rough start.  However, they have been inching their way to the top of the standings.  They have shown an immense amount of improvement.  Babcock is an excellent coach and there is no reason to believe we should find someone else to take his job.

 

Did we forget about all the injuries we have right now?  For how bad we started and how we IMPROVED so much to get where we're at in the standings now without several key players is motivating.

 

I don't find it shocking at all that this topic came after a loss.







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