I'm less inclined to blame Babcock for this as I am to blame Holland. Holland signs the players. He's the one who has tirelessly held into useless old plugs instead of opening roster spots for valuable young players that can provide secondary scoring. This team should be one of the better ones in the league. Instead, we are one of the most inconsistent at best, and at worst, we have been the one of the worst teams in hockey over the past 7 games. With a few roster moves, we could improve vastly. Instead, we are forced, as fans, to accept the same ridiculous status quo that has been established by Holland's over-loyalty and complacency.
To be fair, wasn't Babs more than ok with Cleary coming back (as far as we know)? And isn't the coach the one making the boneheaded decisions regarding ice time and line combos and defense pairings? I mean, hey, let's try Cleary with Datsyuk and Zetterberg AGAIN because, s***, why not???? Babs is losing his marbles.
Again, though, I do believe most of the blame falls on Holland. I think, for example, if Babs had a couple of really big, strong, physical Canadian grinders (really GOOD ones), Cleary probably wouldn't see the ice. But when Babs says, "OK, I need a heavy game. I want my third line to create a heavy, grinding forecheck that'll create sustained pressure, wear down the opposition, draw a penalty or two, maybe even score a goal. Good idea, right? Yeah, we definitely need that heavy forechecking. So, my options are...Cleary...and...Andy...and...Sammy. FML" - that's on Holland. Our whole crappy roster is on Holland. This no Nyquist bulls*** is on Holland. Etc.
But, at the same time, I think better coaching squeezees out at least two wins in this losing streak, and then you're not even talking about a losing streak, and fans aren't screaming for anyone's head. Babs has been incredibly "out there" this season (you can see it in the decisions he makes and some of his comments), and he needs to rein himself in and get back on track. If that doesn't happen...well, personally, I'm practically in love with the idea of Jeff Blashill coaching the Wings.