Posted 24 February 2014 - 01:54 AM
I didn't say he didn't get credit or that he didn't do a fine job. But that stifling, smothering, shut down type of defense is more the style of a Hitchcock coached team. Babcock emphasizes defense but not in the same way that Hitchcock does.
Did you not watch us in 2008? That was how we played all season long, smothering teams all over the ice. Using a skilled, mobile group of defencemen to keep the puck when we had it, and take away the oppositions time and space when we didn't. Instead of Lidstrom, Rafalski, Stuart and Kronwall he had Weber, Doughty, Pieterangelo, Bouwmeister and Keith.
He got superstars like Crosby to buy into a defence first system and work their tails off all over the ice. It seemed like Canada had 4 forwards on the ice at all times, so hard were they working. Compare how the all-stars on Canada played to how guys like Ovechkin played for Russia.
"If I can be totally honest, it's not a lot of guys you get impressed by. Actually, it's no one else but him. From the bench, to see what move he makes -- you're like, 'I wish I could do that.' Sometimes you sit on the bench and just think, 'wow,' and you look over to the other bench and they sit there and shake their heads, too. He has great, great skills. I'm probably not going to play with another player who has the kind of skills he has." Mikael Samuelsson on Pavel Datsyuk