Come on Babs -- Justin Abdelkader would be in the press box every night if this were true.
It amazes me that anyone thinks he's somehow useful. We could find a grinder out of the minors that could put up similar numbers and play just as hard on the forecheck.
If he's waived, this team will lose nothing, even if he's picked up.
Some people here are having trouble with the distinction between 'who plays' and 'on which line one plays.' Babcock said the former, not the latter.
Put down the pitchforks.
If he's talking about rewarding players by putting them in the lineup, the same should go for where they play in the lineup. Guys like Cleary, Abdelkader and Quincey have been rewarded with icetime they didn't deserve.
That statement is as true as you think Babs statement is.
I think Babs focuses on defense more than anything else. Players are on a short leash when it comes to defensive mistakes (White, Tatar) and a long leash when it comes to offensive production. You can be without puck luck when it comes to scoring, but there isn't any puck luck for being soft on your stick or missing coverage.
Your second line should not be a primarily defensive (checking) line. That's what it was for about 6 or 7 games.