Mike Babcock doesn't always have his team in the Stanley Cup Finals. It just seems that way because the coach has done it three times in his six seasons behind an NHL bench.
Babcock helped the Detroit Red Wings hoist the Cup last year against Pittsburgh. His Anaheim Ducks lost to New Jersey in Game 7 of the 2003 finals, when Babcock was a first-year coach in the league.
With Detroit ahead of Pittsburgh, three games to two, Babcock could win another title tomorrow night, and at the expense of one of his former players and assistants, Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma.
Babcock demands that his players skate and hit hard at both ends of the ice and crash the net to score the gritty goals. He has won more games in the playoffs (58) and regular season (282) than any other NHL coach in his first six seasons.
Game 6 looms large
Detroit travels to Pittsburgh for Game 6 in a series in which the home team has won every game.
If the Penguins survive, they'll have to play Game 7 in Detroit, where they have been outscored by 20-5 while losing five of six in the last two Finals.
Their 5-0 loss on Saturday night is already being styled the "meltdown in Motown."
"We've come back, we've bounced back," Bylsma said. "We've battled in the face of adversity. We've come back and won a Game 7 at Washington. This is a group of guys I believe in and am confident in."
- Associated Press