You pair him with the Perfect Human (TPH). Babcock's reasoning for the change, per Khan(!):
“I thought E played some of his best hockey when he played with Nick against Anaheim (second round of the 2009 playoffs),’’ Babcock said. “Their top unit with (Ryan) Getzlaf and (Corey) Perry really make it hard on the other team’s (defense). E’s a big body, we want him to play well.’’
This is true. Remember, this is when we first saw Big E and believed that we had the next coming of the TPH; very unlike the current edition which plays worse defense than Michigan on Saturday.
Lidstrom doesn't seem to mind it:
“He can skate the puck out of trouble. He’s a big guy to play against so, when you’re matching up, it makes it harder for the opponents when you have a guy his size going against you.’’
But then again, Lidstrom really isn't fazed by anything.