Detroit's coach first wore the maroon tie for Game 5 of the conference semifinal, and the Red Wings won that pivotal game against San Jose. He had on a different tie when his team closed out the series in California. His preference has always been to wear a different tie every game.
Babcock, who played hockey at McGill in the 1980s, broke that tradition when he put the school tie back on Friday. Detroit beat Anaheim 2-1. Game 2 is Sunday night.
"It won't be on again until the next round," Babcock said after practice Saturday. "It's done for this one."
SCORING CHANCES: McDonald, Teemu Selanne and Chris Pronger each had five shots on Dominik Hasek in Game 1 Friday. Henrik Zetterberg had the most shots by a Detroit player, six, and Tomas Holmstrom had four on Jean-Sebastien Giguere.
FACEOFFS: McDonald was Anaheim's best faceoff man in Game 1 in winning seven of 10 draws. Sammy Pahlsson wasn't bad either. He won 10 of 15. Ryan Getzlaf took 14 draws and only won three.
For Detroit, Valtteri Filppula won all six he took, and Kris Draper won 10 of 16. Zetterberg won only five of 14, while Robert Lang won only four of 12.
SIZING UP SELANNE: Selanne and Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle were teammates with the old Winnipeg Jets, and a lot has changed since those days some 20 years ago.
"He's got a hell of a lot more money now," Carlyle, who now coaches Selanne, replied when asked how the 37-year-old Finn's career has progressed. "That's one thing that's a difference.
"He only had one car then. I think he has 25 now. He's got a big home in the hills in California on a golf course that I wouldn't know what it's worth, but I know it's lots. He didn't have that when he came to Winnipeg."
What Selanne still has is a passion for hockey, Carlyle added after practice Saturday. He remains a powerful skater, too, and a forward who can manoeuvre into position to score. It's called smarts.
"The thing that you can always say about Teemu is he's a fun guy at the rink," Carlyle said. "He comes to play the game.
"He doesn't like to practice long, mind you, but he does like to come to the rink. That's a special quality. That's what you find in those players that play the number of years and achieve the success that he's had. He's had some hurdles to get over through injury and inconsistent play, but he has found a home with us and we're sure happy to have him."
Selanne has always respected Carlyle for being a good enough NHL defenceman to win the Norris Trophy. He's also learning to respect him as a coach.
"So far, I think he's had a little more success as a player but he's a really, really good coach," says Selanne. "We're really lucky to have him.
"He likes to be vocal. He's a very outgoing guy. he likes to yell during the game. He likes to joke around. He's a very positive guy."
NOT HIS STYLE: Those in-game TV interviews being conducted with coaches and players are not Carlyle's cup of tea.
"I don't care if the players do them or not," he says. "That's totally up to the individual.
"That's their personal preference. If they want to do those interviews, I'll never stop a player from doing them. For me, personally, I don't want to see anybody when I'm behind the bench. Just my personal feeling. I think it's about the players. If the game has got to go in that direction for that to open it up to the fans, then so be it. It's a great move. We're trying to sell the game of hockey. If that enhances it, that's great."
Just as long as it doesn't include him.
ALL ABOUT WINNING: Screening opposition goalies is Tomas Holmstrom's favourite role and he played it to perfection on Nicklas Lidstrom's winning shot Friday night. Holmstrom got credit for the big goal because the puck struck him on its way into the net.
"He's a force to be reckoned with at that position on the ice," admits Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle.
Babcock declined to heap praise on Holmstrom because he prefers not to build up any one individual.
"I really believe at this time of year it's just all about the team," he said. "Whether you play three minutes or you play 20 minutes or you get a goal or you get an assist or you block a shot, it's all part of winning."
BLUE-LINE BLASTS: Top five in all-time playoff goals scored by defencemen: Paul Coffey 59, Denis Potvin 56, Ray Bourque 41, Al MacInnis 39, Nicklas Lidstrom 38.
CLOSING IN: Detroit defenceman Chris Chelios will appear in his 242nd NHL playoff game Sunday night, and that is only five shy of Patrick Roy's record of 247.
DEFINITION OF STAY-AT-HOME DEFENCEMAN: The Red Wings' Danny Markov last scored in the playoffs in April 2004 when he played for Philadelphia.