The flip side of this is that a guy like Ericsson probably looks terrible playing D for a team like Toronto. Babcock's system may stunt player's offensive numbers, but it's probably helped win a few Selke's and made average defensemen good enough to play on the top pairing.
I agree. But that's part of the problem isn't it? Making average guys "look" good. Does anybody remember when Ian White was Lidstrom's partner, and everybody kept commenting that White "looks" like a top pairing guy when playing next to Lids? It was true, he "looked" fine. Trouble was, Ian White ISN'T a top pairing defenseman. And when the rubber hits the road he's going to play like a 2nd or 3rd pairing guy instead of a top pairing guy because that's what he is. He didn't become better by playing with Lidstrom. He mistakes were just less harmful.
That's the by-product of Babs' system. It can make Ericsson "look" like a number 2 defenseman. It can make Darren Helm "look" like a top six forward. And we all forget that ideally you don't want that. Babs' system can make underachievers competitive sure. But what happens when you run up against a team that's just as competitive, and has the right players in the right positions? You get spanked. Because an average player is an average player.
Mind you, none if that is Babs' fault. He plays with what he's got. If KH wants average top four defense play, he should keep the top four he has now. If he wants above average play, he needs better defensemen.
- sjr2012 likes this