Monday, September 24, 2007

Kings Projected Production Part 2: Defensemen

I'm going to write my projected production predictions for most of the Kings defensemen in one post. I think there is still uncertainty as to who will be with the team come this Saturday, but the ones that I think will definitely be on the roster are:
  • Rob Blake
  • Kevin Dallman
  • JMFJ
  • Jon Klemm
  • Jaroslav Modry
  • Tom Preissing
  • Brad Stuart
  • Lubomir Visnovsky

Kevin Dallman
Joe Piskula is the only other defenseman still with the team. One way the Kings could keep him on the roster is if Kevin Dallman is used as a forward, most likely RW considering how weak we are in that position (thanks to Silencer76 for pointing out that glaring hole in our lineup). I'm pretty sure it was Dallman who played forward and defense last season. (I usually get him and Willsie mixed up but I doubt it was Willsie that was playing defense.) Dallman's 2006-2007 season total was 1-9-10. Whether he's a forward or defenseman I foresee him playing on the last line and I don't expect him to produce many points over last season's total.

My prediction for Dallman's projected production: 1-10-11

Rob Blake
In Rob Blake's first season back as a King his numbers were 14-20-34. However, the dude was a whopping -26, only 2 shy of his personal worst of -28 that he posted as a King during the '96-'97 season. Considering Lubi was a +1 I don't think there's really much excuse for Blakie since both guys play a lot of time on the PP. Blake seemed to be much more offensive-minded than I remember him being in the past (although I didn't really follow him that much during his stint with the Avs). He wasn't just an offensive-defenseman like Lubi, he was really in the offense, skating in deep on the far side waiting for the pass or the bounce. Usually this play would happen when the Kings were on the PP but if I remember correctly it would also happen when the Kings were at even strength. Whenever I saw Blake go in deep I would start to feel uneasy and nervous but also anxious because I wanted him to score and have a great season, especially since he started out really slow. I'm not really sure what style Blake will play this season but I wouldn't mind seeing him stay home more often, or at least stay closer to the blueline than the trapezoid. Anyhow, I expect Blake to start off quicker, have about the same or fewer goals, and a lot more assists than he did last season. Here's hoping the fans stop booing him this season. Get over it LA Kings fans, he's ours now whether you like or not!

My prediction for Blake's projected production: 12-35-47

I'm basing JMFJ's projected season total based on other rookie defensemen and what I think his playing style will be this season. If Blake plays more defensive-minded hockey, then JMFJ will probably be an offensive-defenseman. Not really sure what I think about this forecast since his critics were quick to point out that he needs to be more disciplined as a defenseman. Dion Phaneuf was 20-29-49 in his rookie year and 17-33-50 in his second season. John-Michael Liles' past three season totals are 10-24-34, 14-35-49, and 14-30-44. I think JMFJ could put up 35-40 points this season, but of course I hope it will be more. Ok, here it goes:

My prediction for JMFJ's projected production: 12-25-37, five fights, and 95 PIM

Lubomir Visnovsky
I absolutely adore Lubomir. I'm not sure why but whenever I see him play I get a little smile on my face. He has boyish looks like Alexander Frolov and while he may not always smile like Fro, he still doesn't look like he's trying and thinking too hard. I think it's amazing how well he's progressed the past two seasons after hovering around the 25-30 points/season mark for the three years prior. Whether it's because there's less grabbing and holding for when he skates end to end, the team hasn't been that hot lately (but they weren't that great his first four years with the team), or he's finally found his groove, I can't explain why his season totals for the past two seasons exploded to 17-50-67 in 80 games and 18-40-58 in 69 games. I think he definitely deserved the pay raise he received in the off-season despite what some critics may think. Expect him to put up very similar numbers.

My prediction for Lubi's projected production: 16-52-68

Tom Preissing
I thought Tommy Boy had a lot more seasons to his name than just 3. Just shows how unfamiliar I am with most of the new guys, including Brad Stuart and Jon Klemm. Based on his stats, he's more of a playmaker, with about 30 assists in each of the last two seasons, but has a pretty poor shooting percentage with less than 0.10, almost half of Lubi's shooting percentage. I'm sure I've read articles about the style he normally plays but I can't remember them at all. If any Eastern Conference, Ottawa Senators, or San Jose Sharks fans have anything to add about TP, please let me know in the comments!

My guess for TP's projected production: 5-30-35, +17

I don't know much about Jaroslav Modry, Brad Stuart, or Jon Klemm and I don't feel like doing the research on them. Apparently there's a Battle of California reader who has a hard on for Brad Stuart. The affable guys at KingsCast can't stand Jaroslav Modry. And Jon Klemm doesn't seem to offend anyone. Take that as you may.

The start of the season is so close!! Why can't it be Saturday already!


Silencer76 said...

Brad Stuart...3rd overall pick in the 98 draft. Made the All Rookie team in 99/00 when he had 10 goals and 36 points in 82 games. LA will be his fourth stop since the start of the 05/06 season, as he went from San Jose to Boston to Calgary in the interim.

Assets Is a very gifted skater and makes excellent outlet passes. Has a heavy shot that can be very effective on the power play.

Flaws Is prone to mistakes in pressure situations, which has led him into the coach's doghouse in the past. Doesn't use his size effectively enough.

Career potential Top four defenseman.

Silencer76 said...

Tom Preissing...couldn't stand the bastard when he was in Ottawa. Doesn't shoot the puck (94 shots), gets abused in the corners because of his size (6' 198). Almost half his points (18 of 38) came on the PP.

Assets Makes smart decisions with the puck. Is capable of putting up good offensive numbers, especially if given regular ice time with the man advantage.

Flaws Is undersized, and will always face an uphill battle against NHL power forwards. Must still prove he can log big minutes in the big league.

Career potential Power play specialist.

Silencer76 said... a word: old. He turns 38 in January. Lunchbucket kind of guy...never scored more than 24 points in a year and has just 142 career points in 751 NHL games.

Is not an offensive weapon, and can't log big minutes. More of a third pairing kind of guy, a definite defensive defenseman.

KMS2 said...

Thanks Silencer! I'm interested to see how Stuart fares this season. I knew he was part of the Thornton trade but couldn't figure out if being part of the trade for Thornton was good or bad. As for Preissing, I guess we could use another PP specialist. Maybe him and Lubi will work well on the PP or we could have two good PP D-lines.

Silencer76 said...

Glad to be of assistance. :) The thing with Preissing is he tends to disappear in the defensive end. He is a finesse D man, doesn't take the body, doesn't block shots...I can't say I know a ton about the other D on the Kings, but he will be need to be paired with a guy who knows what defensive zone responsibility is.

If there is anything else I can be of help with, you know where to reach

Shmee said...

Aww, I heart Tom Preissing. He is a solid d-man, and I had hoped to see him in a red, white and blue uni this season. Purple is a good color for him too:)

KMS2 said...

Purple is always a good color ;)

I've decided to nickname Preissing, TP. Kind of lame but he needs a nickname and Tommy Boy is just too long and Preissing or any variation of that sort just doesn't roll off the tongue very well.

CKim said...

what the fuck! Are the Kings fans booing MY BLAKE???? I'll punch them all in the face.