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Babcock didn’t think Wings would be ‘near where we’re at’

Florida Panthers v Detroit Red Wings

DETROIT, MI - JANUARY 26: Detroit Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock watches the warms ups prior to the start of the game against the Florida Panthers at Joe Louis Arena on January 26, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. The Panthers defeated the Wings 5-4 in a shootout. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

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It’s not just the “experts” who are surprised at how good the Detroit Red Wings have been this season. Frankly, head coach Mike Babcock didn’t expect it either.

“I’ve said this a number of times,” Babcock said, per the Detroit Free Press. “If you’d asked me July 5 where we’d be, I didn’t think we’d be near where we’re at. People can tell you different, but all the experts said we weren’t going to make the playoffs. I thought, ourselves, we weren’t sure. So we’ve had great growth on our team. We’ve gotten better, and we’ve got to keep getting better.”

The Wings enter tonight’s game in Tampa Bay with a 28-11-9 record, good for first place in the Atlantic Division. Winners of six straight, they’ve been one of the best possession teams in the NHL all season, getting contributions from both their veterans and youngsters.

That being said, Babcock isn’t satisfied with some of the Wings’ recent performances, so he hopes to “get our game back” against the Lightning.

PS -- I guess Halford isn’t an expert (like me), because he predicted good things from the Wings this season.