I was doing my normal morning hockey reads, catching up on the latest news that happened from when I went to sleep until when I woke up, and I came across this article written by Malik.
Babcock has said that he loves the new challlenge this young group provides him, and that while decisions and mistakes may make people scratch their head, this is the most consistent group he's had in terms of work ethic and preparation.
"It’s been exciting and invigorating to coach a team with a lot of kids,” Detroit coach Mike Babcock insisted Tuesday in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. “I’ve heard people say that we’re not consistent, but I will say this is the most consistent group we’ve had in terms of preparation and work ethic since we’ve been here. Do we make mistakes and do things that make you scratch your head? Yeah, we’ve got kids playing a lot. But we compete for one and another and that’s what we’re still hanging in the playoff picture.”
Along with that, the article provides information on Holland and the trade deadline, DeKeyser and Abby speaking on behalf that any team could win the cup this year.
“Especially in the Western Conference, anybody can beat anybody,” Abdelkader said. “You just have to get in the playoffs, when anything can happen. Look at what happened with LA last season” when the Kings became the first eighth-seeded team to hoist the Stanley Cup.
“We still have a lot of good pieces here and tremendous leadership and we have a backstop in Howie that bails us out when we need him to,” Abdelkader said. “We definitely don’t have some of the pieces that have led this team for so many years, but we’ve got leaders who have stepped up on ice with their play.”
“He’s coming to a program where things are going to be a bit different, yet we just have to get him in the lineup,'' Babcock said. “The reason we didn’t play him this weekend is because he has been off from practice since (Sunday). And we want him to be skating and comfortable for when he does go in for his first game.''
While Holland believes there will be plenty of trades before the deadline, he doesn’t imagine there will be many impact deals done. “I just think it’s the league,” he said. “I think the conversation we’re having today is the same conversation we’re having next year and I think it’s the conversation from last year. If we pulled up last year’s trade-deadline moves, and every year there’s between 20-30, 90 percent of them are little depth moves. It’s a fourth-round pick for this one, a third-round pick for that one. Every year there’s that odd big deal, but teams really make their moves at the June draft. And then there are some rentals.
“Obviously, Pittsburgh has been really aggressive, but beyond that I don’t think much has gone on around the National Hockey League. I think we wake up Wednesday and because of history we’ll have 20-30 trades, but lots of deals will be made for depth. I’ve had some conversations with some teams about the odd depth player. And I really don’t have an interest. Again, because of the development of (Jakub) Kindl, the development of Lashoff, Brendan Smith, because of the signing of Dan DeKeyser on defence, we’ve got nine guys here and had to trade away Kent Huskins to make room.
“Because of the development of Joakim Andersson, who we really like, because Patty Eaves is healthy, because we signed Damien Brunner, who can play in the NHL, you look up front and we don’t need any depth. Then you look and Todd Bertuzzi (back injury) is practicing every day and barring any setback we’re hoping sometime in the next couple of weeks that he’s going to play. It’s been tough year for (Darren) Helm for injuries, tough year for Bert with injuries, for Sammy (Mikael Samuelsson) with injuries, but we’ve been able to stay afloat and I think our depth has kept up afloat. So I can’t go out and acquire any better depth than the depth we’ve got that’s kept us afloat.”
“There are depth players out there that in the past we may have been interested in, but because of what has transpired here over the last 6-8 weeks with all the injuries it’s been an opportunity for some young guys to get in and they’ve done a good job,” he said. “Lashoff, Kindl and Andersson have really done a great job. Tatar played well when he was in. I don’t think (Gustav) Nyquist has really gotten the opportunity that he really needs. He’s sort of in and out. (Tomas) Tatar seemed to have a better opportunity, but there’s more people back though. I think we’re a deeper team today than we were six weeks ago. And I’m hoping we can get lucky over the next six weeks with some of these injured people.