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In truth, it is too early to even talk of such an award. Despite a quarter of the season being gone, in this shortened season, there have not been enough games. Instead, what would it take for Babcock to win it?
If the team can get healthy and secure a top four seed, then Babcock would definitely be in the running. With the offseason losses and abundance of injuries the team has suffered, finishing that high would be impressive.
Any lower seed would not win him the award. Not unless there were a long-term injury to one of the major players(—Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Damien Brunner, Niklas Kronwall or Jimmy Howard(—and obviously nobody wants to see that. However if they made the playoffs with such an injury then he would certainly be the leading candidate.
They key is winning. It does not matter how it does it, but the team really needs to start stacking some wins together. A coaches award for Babcock would be nice, but raising the Stanley Cup would be much better.