Detroit Red Wings
coach Mike Babcock was a guest on NHL Live to look back on the regular season and ahead to the Red Wings' series against the Boston Bruins
in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Babcock also provided updates on veteran forwards Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg. Datsyuk played in Detroit's final six games after missing time with a knee injury. Zetterberg, who had back surgery and has not played since Feb. 8, is hoping to return for the second round of the playoffs, if not sooner.
"Pavs got better each and every game," Babcock said. "We're optimistic that he can continue to do that. We don't know if he doesn't need surgery and to get [the knee] fixed permanently, we'll know at the end of the season, but he seems to be feeling better. He practiced good, we grounded out [Tuesday] for a long time, and he managed to stay with it and get through it.
"As far as Zetterberg goes, we haven't had him basically all year. To be honest with you, [defenseman Niklas] Kronwall has taken over in running our hockey club. He's been the on-ice leader, the off-ice leader; he's been the guy every day, the glue guy for us and he needs to continue to do that. We spent our time focusing on the guys that are wearing the sweaters, not the guys who are injured, and I think that's how we managed to continue to go along.
"We'd love to have Z back, don't get me wrong. He's a brilliant player and a good person and obviously a big leader, but there's no sense worrying about the guys you don't have."
The Red Wings play the Bruins in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference First Round matchup Friday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, FS-D, NESN).
"We have to execute," Babcock said when asked what Detroit must do to defeat the Bruins. "We have to play a fast game. In order to do that, we have to execute coming out of our zone. We've had success against Boston this year in the regular season … we plan on being hard-working, detail-oriented. We have to be outstanding on the penalty kill and stay out of the box, and we need our goaltending to be as good as it's ever been, and then we're going to be a tough out."