Sure, there are plenty of times when coaches and players have cliches on call, but in-game and post-game interviews exist because emotional reactions occasionally bleed through. Wednesday night represented one of those times as Detroit Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock reacted to a heavy run of penalties in his team’s match against the Nashville Predators while he was interviewed by Brian Engblom.
“The refs are trying to get to the Stanley Cup finals just like the rest of us,” Babcock said.
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Naturally, that honest bit of criticism brought out the snark (particularly in comparison to John Tortorella’s recent fine), but the question is: should Babcock’s wallet be a little lighter?
Perhaps, but I think it would set a bad example. It’s one thing to hand a hefty punishment on Tortorella for comments made during a press conference, yet the New York Rangers coach at least had a little more time to decide that he would speak his mind. If the NHL wants to encourage interesting discussion during on-the-bench interviews, then hitting Babcock hard would be counterproductive – it was in the heat of the moment, after all.
What do you think, though? Does Babcock deserve some kind of punishment – even if it’s mainly to be “fair” to Tortorella? Does he have a point? Maybe a little of both? Share your thoughts.