Will adversity prove sweet?

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 11:14 AM ET

William Shakespeare wrote about adversity: "Which like the toad, ugly and venomous, wears yet a precious jewel in its head."

In the past, the Detroit Red Wings have had to wait until the playoffs to face adversity, at times unable to overcome it. Such was the case last year where the Red Wings won the President's Trophy as the league's best team in the regular season, only to lose to the Edmonton Oilers in the first round of the playoffs.

This season, adversity has come sooner, which in the end, might help the Red Wings.

"Last year we never had any adversity at all," said Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock. "My job is to avoid adversity. Look at what Edmonton went through. They crawled in (to the playoffs) and they battled and battled and battled. Well you find your team, you find your shipping, you find what makes you good during tough times."

A year ago things didn't get tough for the Red Wings until the first round of the playoffs where they bowed out to the Oilers in six games.

Tonight the Red Wings face the Oilers having lost back-to-back games in Anaheim and San Jose.

"Don't get me wrong, as much as you say you want adversity, you don't want any of it," Babcock said. "But in order to grow as coach, grow as a player and to grow as a team, sometime these things are great."

Babcock refers to adverse times as speed bumps. They often bounce teams to the next level. "Here's our opportunity to turn things around," Babcock said. "We're playing a good team that beat us in the playoffs. What are we doing with it?

"Someone is going to fight though and become a really good team and win in the spring and it could be us."


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