Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  Last updated 2/17/12

PITTSBURGH - JUNE 09: Head coach Mike Babcock of the Detroit Red Wings speaks to the media during a press conference after Game Six of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals at the Mellon Arena on June 9, 2009 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
We always take the good ones for granted. When things are going well, theyre the forgotten figure. And when things are not going well, they become the whipping boy. Such is the plight of a professional head coach. A mixture of tactician, disciplinary and psychologist, a head coach must put his team in the best position to win by making tough personnel decisions without bruising too many egos. Its a delicate juggling act because if you lose your team, youll soon be pounding the pavement, looking for your next coaching opportunity. Because of the volatile nature of their position, todays head coach is defensive, cryptic and sometimes honest to a fault. Their honesty usually is in the form of harsh criticism of a player, their team or the old standby -- the media. Imagine being second-guessed on everything and youll begin to understand the coaching profession. Youre continually on trial and always guilty unless you can prove otherwise. Thats why you rarely see a coach let their guard completely down. There are very few coaches who can navigate their way through this mine field any better than Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock. As the old saying goes, Babcock won't be on the Christmas-card lists of many of his players, but he does get the job done and has made a majority of them better players. Polished but still rough around the edges, Babcock has an ego, is intelligent, charming and abrasive. And you always know where you stand with him. Intense is the one word that best describes demeanor. Hes always searching for that competitive edge, looking for that minute detail that will put the Wings over the top. Many who know him wish he would take a step back and enjoy his accomplishments or at least savor the moments. But Babcock isnt made like that. During the season, hes a runaway train, surging towards his only destination -- the Stanley Cup. On Monday, I saw Babcock actually slow down for the first time. As his team was on the verge of breaking the NHLs record for consecutive home victories, Babcock talked about how the Wings have already exceeded his expectations. He approached this season with tremendous apprehension, even wondered if the Red Wings were a legitimate playoff team. Babcock didnt know what to expect, but it sounded like he wouldnt have been too surprised if his team fell flat. Then Babcock named almost every player on the Detroit roster as being better this year than previous seasons. He praised them as the most consistent team hes ever coached. Usually a coach leaves such accolades until after the season has concluded, once hes had some time to decompress and get his emotions in check. For Babcock to be this open about his team at this point in the season says a lot about where he believes the Wings are headed. Babcock didnt mention coaching, so let me do it for him. Without Babcocks relentlessness, the Wings would not have been close to this record. There are many elements that go into the success of team, but the key ingredient is the coach. Mike Babcock might not win many popularity contests, but he does win hockey games. Which is all that really matters in the end.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Bright future for Minnesota Timberwolves

Eli and Archie Manning say Peyton won’t likely leave Denver if he plays in 2016

NCAA mulls changes to graduate transfer and targeting rules

Cavs active in NBA trade market, covet Jared Dudley

Roger Goodell expectedly dodges Patriots-related questions at Super Bowl

Baltimore Orioles acquire starting pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne


USC athletic director Pat Haden to retire in June

Report: Browns owner ‘frustrated, emotional’ about Johnny Manziel

Raiders and Texans to play MNF game in Mexico City in 2016

Goodell wants to keep Raiders, Chargers in home markets

Deadly shooting breaks out at Dublin boxing weigh-in

Mike Shula vs. Wade Phillips: The best story of Super Bowl 50

QUIZ: Name every NFL regular season MVP

WATCH: Avery Bradley nails buzzer beater to beat Cavs

WATCH: Jimmy Butler taken to locker room in wheel chair

Klay Thompson's first five years in historical context

WATCH: Cubs' Kris Bryant went swimming with sharks

Sports Authority taking steps to file for bankruptcy

Major League Baseball threatens to disassociate from DraftKings

NFL considering moving Pro Bowl to Australia

Joe Montana warns NFL players about potential long-term damage after retirement

Report: Two people fired for leaking Jason Pierre-Paul information

‘Crying Jordan’ photographer had no idea it existed until this week

NHL nightmare: No Canadian teams in the NHL playoff hunt

Seven unheralded players set to make major impacts in SB 50

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Five outrageous predictions for Super Bowl 50

QUIZ: Name the winning starting quarterback from every Super Bowl

The top six matchups that could decide Super Bowl 50

Seven unheralded players set to make major impacts in SB 50

10 underrated performances in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

X-factors in Super Bowl 50

NHL nightmare: No Canadian teams in playoff hunt

QUIZ: Name the Super Bowl halftime performers since 1991

Manziel's father fears for QB's life

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker