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Don’t think that quote isn’t for you, Chris

“It’s great, isn’t it? It’s called goaltending.”

-Mike Babcock, following the Red Wings/Penguins game, in which Jimmy Howard stopped 46 shots for the second game in a row. Over the weekend, the team earned three points and Howard stopped 96.8% shots he faced.

Mike Babcock isn’t squeaky clean in this ordeal. No one liked when Chris Osgood opened his mouth, and I think the difference is Babcock’s claims are backed up… by a third party. If Jimmy Howard wasn’t playing as well as he is, Uncle Mike would look incredibly petty and vindictive. Instead, he looks right. Them’s the breaks.

Babcock’s shootout order for the Penguins game was Jason Williams, Pavel Datsyuk, and Valtteri Filppula, theoretically saving Henrik Zetterberg and Todd Bertuzzi for extra innings. Interesting, I suppose, but as noted by our intelligent (and handsome/beautiful) readers, Zetterberg kinda sucks in the shootout (to the tune of 22%). I can’t say I agree with his selected trio, and Babbles has made some questionable shootout calls lately, but obviously he knows his shooters better than I do.

Tomas Holmstrom is back tomorrow, finally banishing Brad May to the press box. Did anyone else die a little when May skated across Pittsburgh’s blue line, stopped, and promptly fell down losing possession? Oy.

Johan Franzen returns next Tuesday, the 9th, in St. Louis — three games before the Olympic break.

When Homer and Mulo come back, the Red Wings will be about $745,000 over the cap (although, I’m not exactly clear on the exact rules regarding LTIR relief as it applies to the cap when those players return). They will also be one player over the 23-man limit (and will have fifteen forwards). Obviously, something will have to give. When Lilja returns, two bodies will have to move, as will nearly $2 million.

The Wings have long felt they can carry 22 guys instead of the maximum 23, and that’s something they’ll have to do when all the bodies return to sneak under the cap.

  • The obvious first guy to go is Brad May. But he only removes $500,000 from the cap. Waive him and send him down. I will piss my pants if anyone picks him up. 
  • I think Brett Lebda is moved before Derek Meech because A) he’s more expensive (though, not by much), B) Meech is a forward in a pinch, and C) Meech doesn’t seem to care that he’s in the press box more than he’s on the ice. I made a promise last week, that if we could get a second round draft pick for Brett Lebda, I’d do a backflip and videotape it for you folks. Hint: I can’t do a backflip. There will be injuries.
After these two moves, the Wings are at the 23-body limit, but still find themselves around 850k over. The following guys don’t make that much, thereby not alleviating the pressure:
  • Ville Leino (800k)
  • Darren Helm (599k – thank the Christ)
  • Drew Miller (525k)
  • Patrick Eaves (500k)
Kirk Maltby makes 883k, making him an actual option to be moved. I don’t like it, because I love him, but he’s in the final year of his contract and it’s extraordinarily unlikely that he’ll get re-signed in July. He’s a life and death Red Wing, so he’s the kind of guy that I can see working within the organization after he decides to hang ’em up, but maybe he’s not there yet. He’s 37, still has legs and a jaw (his two best qualities over two decades), and is a near-legendary penalty killer. You can’t tell me there aren’t teams out there that would benefit from having Kirk Maltby. I have to wonder if he’d be open to a move, considering he’ll very likely find himself in healthy scratch territory here in a little bit. 
I chart the healthy scratches during the season (nerd alert!). Maltby has been scratched five times this season: the first two were in October, when Johan Franzen first became injured, proving that he’s near (or at) the bottom of the depth chart. 

11 thoughts on “Don’t think that quote isn’t for you, Chris”

  1. I will say about this quote the same thing I said about Ozzie when he opened his mouth. Whether he is right or not (and I do believe both of them had a point), he shouldn't be saying it. I suppose because Babs is the coach, he has a lot more right than Ozzie does to make inflammatory statements to the media. But what good does he expect to come of it? To me, it does make him look petty and vindictive. Even if he is right. And I don't see any way that helps the team.

  2. Oh, and I like how now you have promised to videotape the backflip! Last week you said you wouldn't. I was willing to settle for the Photoshop.

  3. Jenn, you make a good point. I suppose it isn't the ends that justify the means if you're borderline vindictive. He clearly MEANT to call out Osgood, so that's the only merit his comments should be judged on. Does he have a point? Yes. He is right? Of course he is. Is it appropriate to say such things in the media? Probably not. I've said plenty of things that were true that I probably should have known better than to utter (i.e. "it'll be a cold day in hell before I take driving lessons from YOU, sweetheart.")

    Also, I decided that it'd be easier to HEAL than it would be to learn how to Photoshop, so I'll videotape it. It probably won't happen – we both know that – but I'll figure something creative out when/if the time comes.

  4. @jennbikegirl I'm not sure about giving him extra leeway because he's the coach. If anything that means he should keep his trap shut. It'd be different if perhaps Ozzie had played in the game, but to mf a guy who sat on the bench in the press… that seems stupid and vindictive. One of the key reasons people always cite for why players like to play in detroit is that they're treated so well by the Organization. Those comments break from the philosophy pretty significatnly. I agree that I'd like them to both shut up. But honestly, I understand Ozzie's comments more as I can understand the frustration involved. Overall, they ought to shut the hell up and get into playoff position.

  5. I'm having a VERY hard time seeing Malts in another uni. Something just doesn't seem right there. Remember when he was tied for the team scoring lead back in…September?

    I'm torn on the Babs thing. On one hand, he's right…Tiberius is playing out of his head and Ozzie is being an underachieving pain in the ass. Remember that if Ozzie played well from the get-go, we probably wouldn't have seen Jimmy get a foothold like he has. I also trust Babs implicitly. On the other hand, this is an already tough season and the bickering makes it tougher, not easier, to stomach losses to teams like…oh…I dunno…Long Island and Minnesota.

  6. The only way I'm ok with Maltby getting moved is if I hear from Ken Holland that Maltby asked to be moved. Otherwise, no way i'd be happy with that.

    Babcock gets more leeway than Osgood because he's the coach. He deserves more leeway. If Ozzie says something that's true, but unnecessary, he's challenging Babs' authority and being a dick about it. If Babs does the same thing, he's trying to elicit a response. I personally still think it's a dick move and think he should't have said it, but he deserves more leeway to do it.

  7. JJ, 100%. I would NEVER like saying goodbye to Maltby. I adore him. But if he would rather be mentoring young players and PLAYING instead of being a healthy scratch in Detroit, he's earned that right in my opinion (and yours, it seems).

  8. As far as the Babs/Ozzie thing, I think I agree with a comment I saw elsewhere: they see each other in the locker room and at practice EVERY day. Say it to faces, not out in the media. Fans don't really want/need to hear the bickering in the media. I end up disappointed in them, because they're grown men-they shouldn't need the media as an outlet to voice their frustration with each other.

    And I can't see Maltby getting moved. It just doesn't seem plausible to me, for a variety of reasons. (I hope)

  9. Guilherme Calciolari

    About the quote: was it a call out to Osgood or was it a praise to a guy who made 92 saves that gave him 3 out of 4 points in the weekend?

    Osgood specified he was thrashing Babcock, but I didn't see the coach saying "that's goaltending, not the shit that old guy gave us".

    Naive? Probably.

  10. @Rob — I also have a hard time seeing Maltby in another uniform. Like I said, he's a life and death Red Wing. And one of my favorites since forever…But I bet the Wings approach him and say something along the lines of "this is your last go-around with the Wings, and chances are good you'll end up a healthy scratch down the stretch… would you rather be a part of the team for another run (likely) or go somewhere and contribute nightly?"

    He's not going anywhere. If we learned anything this season, it's that you can't have too many experienced NHLers.

    @Winged Up — Never underestimate the use of the media for motivation. Mike Babcock has a degree in sports psychology (apparently, it's a thing), so I don't question his METHODS of motivating, if that's what he's doing. I guess only time will tell.

    @Herm — I won't go so far as to call it naive, because it's a good point. He could have just been praising the amazing efforts given by Howard, but given the quote-unquote mini-feud going on…one has to think that he's at least tangentially giving it to Ozzie. Not that Ozzie doesn't deserve it…

  11. I would hate to see Maltby in another uniform, but if he wanted to go elsewhere and play instead of being a healthy scratch more often than not, I couldn't possibly begrudge him that opportunity.

    I would hope the youngsters on his new team would appreciate him. 🙁

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