After scoring just one goal through the first nine games of the season and seeing his ice time drop to a season-low 12:56 in a Nov. 2 loss to Buffalo Tomas Tatar is playing the way coach Mike Babcock knows he can.
Tatar has nine goals and four assists in his last 14 games and the Wings have won three straight heading into Sunday’s matinee with the Vancouver Canucks.
“Babs is hard on me,” Tatar told the Detroit Free Press, “but I think he means it in a good way. He’s always tried to help me out since I got here. I appreciate it. Sometimes it’s really hard, but that’s just how he works with me, I guess, there is no other way with me, and I appreciate that.
“He’s been a good coach, we have success under him, and I respect that.”
Babcock admits to being tougher on the Slovakian native, who will celebrate his 24th birthday on Monday.
“He can take it,” Babcock said. “Because he responds. You’ve got 23 athletes, you’ve got to figure out 23 different ways to coach them, because they’re all different. Some you treat different, that’s just the way it is. But Tats is a guy who has high-end skill, and he’s determined, and he’s really determined to score. We want our guys to be determined to score and determined not to get scored against.”