Can the Wings, Babcock Avoid the NHL Olympic Hangover?

If you think NHL players are the only ones with Olympic hangover, think again.

Since the NHL began stopping play midseason to send its athletes to the Winter Olympics, the coaches of Team Canada have had a mixed bag with their clubs upon return. This is just the thing Wings fans were wanting to hear with Mike Babcock coaching the Canadians in Vancouver.

Mark Crawford/Colorado Avalanche, 1998 (10-13-1): Team won the weak Pacific Division while struggling down the stretch. Lost six in a row towards the end of the season and then lost to the no. 7 Edmonton Oilers in round one.

Pat Quinn/Toronto Maple Leafs, 2002 (10-7-5): The Leafs fared considerably better than Crawford’s Avalanche down the stretch. They won their final four in a row to lose out on the division by a point to the Bruins. They ended up losing to the Hurricanes in the Conference Finals, preventing a Wings-Leafs Stanley Cup match-up.

Pat Quinn/Toronto Maple Leafs, 2006 (14-8-3): Quinn’s repeat performance as Canada’s head coach was a failure at the national level. Following their first gold in 50 years, Canada went without hardware in Italy. Quinn’s Leafs had losing streaks of five and eight in the middle of the season and ended up missing a playoff spot by two points. He was removed following the season and the Leafs have gone on a considerable tailspin since. Oddly enough, his 31 points were the most of any coach post-Olympics.