It was the perfect symbolism for the coach of the Motor City's hockey team to make.
Babcock was asked after Game 5, a 4-3 win by the Red Wings, what allowed Detroit center Pavel Datsyuk
able to overcome a rumored wrist injury to dish out three impressive assists at crucial moments in the game. In short, Babcock said player like Datsyuk have a "drivetrain" that other players don't always have, which allows them to turn it up a notch in the playoffs.
Babcock was asked to expand on that analogy after Tuesday's morning skate and said that "drivetrain" can be installed, so to speak, by hard work and determination.
"I think for sure it can be taught," Babcock said. "When you come to a team like the Detroit Red Wings
, when you arrive, Steve Yzerman
's like that or Nick Lidstrom's like that. Pavel Datsyuk
is an absolute workaholic on and off the ice. It's not by accident that these guys are this good. It's because they work that hard."
Babcock then cited how hard Datsyuk works on and off the ice to keep his 32-year old body in shape and to keep honing his already jaw-dropping array of skills at both ends of the ice.
"To me, that's what separates him," Babcock said. "There's lots of nice players in the league, but they don't get to play long at the end of the year, because it's not about being a nice player. It's about winning your battle every time you're on the ice. There's no space and there's no room and the ice gets worse as the year goes on, so it's not about being pretty and it's not about open ice, or about who looks good in practice with no pressure on him. It's who can make a play in a small area and win a battle. To me, that's the game."