Wow, this forum has gone nuts. The hate for Abdelkader is ridiculous, although he is a bit of a misfit on the 2nd line, he is by no means useless. Put him in the bottom six, where he belongs and he is one of our more valuable players together with Tootoo, digging in the corners and combining decent size with skating.
I agree with those wanting to keep both Tatar and Nyquist in the lineup, obviously Babs has stated his reasons, but really how big is Miller or Andersson playing? I think energy is just as important as size in the modern era of the NHL today. Tatar and Nyquist can certainly contribute in that department given the right linemates.
Although he did have his fumble yesterday, I think Miller has been outstanding on the penalty kill this year. He may not be making noise production wise, but he certainly is doing his role to a tee. I wouldn't mind keeping Miller and Andersson. I would throw Helmer on 3rd line center and Andersson as 4th line center; push Abby back to winger so he can play his actual game. He's a hitter and a pest, he can't be centering, he's more efficient on the wing.
the Abby hate is overkill. He's not a goal scorer, he's a grinder. He hits and annoys the opposition. He has lost a step from last season though. He's looking a little slow this year. There's a LOT of anger on here these days cause we're not scoring goals and it's cause we have bottom 6 players out of their element in the top 6 that aren't producing cause they aren't as skilled as guys that should be up there like Tatar and Nyquist. The only guys in the bottom 6 that really have the skill to play in the top 6 in "my opinion" are Helm and Eaves. Cleary and Abby are shutdown guys that need to be just that.
Absolutely, Abby is way better on the wing, when he can actually play his role. Right now I think Abby is mixed between two different roles and he doesn't know which one to accomplish right now. We ask him to be a pest, and finish checks; he does good at this. We ask him to be a net front presence and be the big body on the top 6; he doesn't do good at this (outstanding screen last night but still, he's not and will never be a top 6 player, injuries simply made that move happen). If we want him to shine, keep him on the bottom 6 and allow him to fulfill the role he's good at.