Perhaps the most interesting "sidebar" story to emerge from the Red Wings' 4-3 OT loss to the St. Louis blues involved Red Wings coach Mike Babcock's declaration that his team's personnel changes (see; no Nicklas Lidstrom, Brad Stuart or Brian Rafalski, with no real replacements found) and injuries on defense (see: Brendan Smith, Carlo Colaiacovo, and at times this season, Jonathan Ericsson and Ian White) has required the Red Wings to adapt their puck possession system to accommodate a less-skilled puck-moving defensive corps.
Babcock doesn't believe that the team needs to abandon the system of puck possession hockey that's worked for almost twenty years and eighteen-and-a-half seasons, but Babcock told the Windsor Star's Bob Duff that his team plays a slightly different brand of "Red Wings hockey" now:
The Joe Louis Arena crowd went wild as former captain Nicklas Lidstrom was shown seated in the private suite of Detroit Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch at Joe Louis Arena during Wednesday’s 4-3 overtime loss to the St. Louis Blues.
It was recently-retired Lidstrom’s first chance to see how his old team is getting along without him, and it was likely an eye-opening experience. Minus the seven-time Norris Trophy winner, Detroit’s system now is about short passing plays, and tighter gaps between the forwards and defence.
"We have to be,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “We’ve got to be tight, tight, tight. I’ve always wanted it, but we could get away with it before.”
Red Wings coach Mike Babcock’s preaching a new puck possession mantra
kuklaskorner | Feb 14