The Best Team he ever Coached
Detroit still has much to be proud of - the Pistons, the Tigers, Ford Field, and of course, the Red Wings. Coach Mike Babcock calls them the 'best team' he's ever coached. This as he sets an NHL record for becoming the first coach to have his team score 50+ points in his first three seasons as their coach.
I'm trying to think back to the last few times we won the Cup for a comparison. Definitely a better team now than in '02. I want to say they're better now than the '97 or '98 teams, but that's probably a stretch.
Picking up Rafalski did more to improve our team than anything this season - he's a truely solid defenseman that has adapted perfectly to the Wings' style of play. (oh, and he's from Michigan!) Lidstrom is just a rock back there; he's been around since the '97 run, and is undoubtedly the team's most valuable player (as we learned the hard way when he was injured last month). Of course, we had the Russian Five back then and now we have the Swedes. And Steve Yzerman was irreplaceable for his talent and what he meant for the team as their captain. But I can't remember ever watching a player as exciting as Pavel Datsyuk. I can't describe it any other way than it's like watching a world class figure skater with a hockey stick. His moves are so slick, so graceful, he makes these incredible passes through four opponents to find the open man. He embarrasses defensemen. He makes goalies flop out of their crease like a beached whale. Maybe I'm just caught up in the moment, but I can't remember the last time I've enjoyed watching the Wings as much as I have this season. I actually want to see EVERY game.
Can't wait for the playoffs!!!