Mike Babcock is not a good NHL shootout coach. Eventually, he may lose his job with the Detroit Red Wings because of how poorly he coaches in shootouts. As ridiculous as that might sound, Saturday’s 5-4 loss in a shootout to the New York Islanders was the third such setback in a row for the Red Wings. Teams lose points when they lose shootouts. Babcock has to find a better way of getting those points rather than being happy with an overtime point and not worrying about the shootout.
Babcock has obvious reason not to like shootouts; so do a lot of coaches. But he needs to do a better job now taking advantage of any opportunity the Wings have to get points. They’re not winning games right now. They’re not getting blown out, obviously, considering they’re making a habit of getting into the overtimes. But when the last few weeks of the season rolls around and teams are battling for playoff positions, it could be a matter a few points here or there that separate the Wings from a favorable spot.
It doesn’t help Babcock when it comes to coaching shootouts that his offense is struggling. However, performing in shootouts is obviously far different than in a game situations. Goalies can’t be screened on a shootout breakaway and they’re obviously more prepared for it.
The way it’s been going, the Red Wings can expect to run into many more shutouts before this season comes to an end. That’s especially why Babcock and his staff need to spend more time on shootout preparation. They’re obviously not getting the job done right now.