Monday, January 14, 2008

Performance Reviews

The idea for this post came during the 0-7 loss to the Leafs. Ckim and I were astounded at how loud the boos resonated through Staples Center. She noted that this game must have been extra hard on the players because the boos were so noticeable. I mentioned that it must be tough as a sports player to get reviewed after every game. Can you even imagine getting reviewed by your boss after every work day? I would die. But then again, I guess that's why these guys are paid the big bucks. I get reviewed twice a year at work and I think the norm is to have a review once a year, sometime during the middle of the year. The Kings are a few games past the midpoint of the season which means it's the perfect time for Performance Reviews! (Throughout this post I use "I" and "we" interchangeably...don't hate, I've never been good at grammar.)

Derek Armstrong
So far this season, you've been OK. Maybe you should keep the DJ job at the Toyota Center public skate.

JS Aubin
You fought for a spot on the roster and even though you're up in the big leagues, I'm not convinced you actually belong here. You're lucky that the Kings are drowning in goaltender woes otherwise you'd be shacking up with Cloutier out in Manchester. Your long rebounds continue to scare the crap out of me and while I realize that's your style of play, you need may want to rethink your game plan since the defense is inept at clearing your doormat.

It's no secret that the Kings have pretty much burned both goalies at the stake by leaving them for dead in games. While the goalies aren't anywhere close to being free of blame, as both have showed severe mental breakdowns during games, they can't expect to clean up the shit when the offense and defense crap the beds every night. Aubin hasn't been quoted in the media too much, and no his 'Yo Momma' commercial doesn't count, but LaBarbera has voiced his disgust with the team's play. He hasn't downright criticized his teammates and, in fact, no one has, probably because there isn't one player on the team who consistently shows up to play a full 60 minutes. However, the only person I feel who can rip his teammates a new one is LaBarbera because he's the goaltender and more often than not, he looks bad because his teammates make him look bad. In ESPN's rumor central, Tomas Vokoun of the Florida Panthers recently ripped his teammates by stating:

"If we want to go anywhere, we have to change this. It's not one thing; it's a whole lot of things. We have to change how we approach [games].

The time is slowly going by. You don't want to be in a position where it's too late. This is a professional business. You have to be accountable for yourself. It's really hard to get somebody up and tell him to be ready to play. It's your job. The team is capable of being a lot higher than we are. You kind of slowly run out of excuses."

The exact same statement could have, and probably should, come out of LaBarbera's mouth. It's time for the Kings to get angry. It's time for them to show some passion. It's time for them to play like they're getting paid somewhere in the range of hundreds of thousands to several million dollars. With that said:

Jason LaBarbera
I want so badly for you to have a stellar season and maybe it'll happen next year. I go apeshit every time the defense leaves an opposing player unmanned next to you or allows the opposition to have several whacks at the puck. You don't deserve to be treated poorly by your teammates and it's about time you show them who's boss. When you're healthy and the team plays decently in front of you, you're f'ing on and have showed the ability to win games for this team. Keep it up, don't get down if a couple quick goals get by you in the first period because you're capable of carrying this team and until Baby Bernier is ready to come up there's a high probability that you'll be here next year holding down the number one spot.

Rob Blake
How does it feel to be leading the Kings in PIM with 72? Tee hee've developed quite a temper in your old age. Even though my mom is absolutely shocked you're still playing, you actually haven't been that bad. But what is going on with these rumors that you're willing to forgo the "no-trade clause" in your contract? If you want out, then you can have out. Why did you even bother returning to LA? Did you really think we were going to be Cup contenders during your two-year contract? (ok, yeah, I did, too)

Dustin Brown
What a season you've been having. Who would have thought that you would be leading the Kings in goals 46 games into the season? You're a season or two late with your production but it's good to see you finally developing into the first line player we knew you could be when you were selected in the first round of the 2003 NHL Draft. We commend your acceptance of your contract extension because we realize you could have held out till later in the season and used your breakthrough season as proof that you deserve a salary somewhere in the $5-6 million/season range. Thank you for not doing that. Seriously. Thank you. Maybe it's because you're married and are expecting your firstborn soon (an early congrats) and want to make sure that your family can stay put in one place for an extended period of time. However, we like to think that you just love it here in Sunny SoCal and foresee your play developing further under Lombardi's regime. Keep up the good work; we want to see you reach those 40 goals that you're on par to score.

Kyle Calder
We had high hopes for you in LA. You've been OK, slightly better than Army, but that's about it. You have a lot to work on, namely scoring goals.

Michael Cammalleri
Oh, Cammy. My Kings calendar brings me much joy this month but that's all you can provide us since you're still sidelined. Note to Cammy: Don't attempt to fight again. We know you were just trying to stick up for your boy, Anze, but seriously, you're bite size! You did start the season with quite a roar, but you've been fairly inconsistent with your scoring since mid-October. Now do you know why Dean took you to arbitration? Don't be alarmed if you get traded (although being on the injured bench doesn't quite help our story) because while you are a good player, we need better from you and quite frankly, maybe you could be better elsewhere and it's possible a team would give up a good amount to add you to their lineup.

Kevin Dallman

Alexander Frolov
Ignore Helene Elliot, because you've been playing well. Even though you've been challenged to become a bonafide goal scorer, you proved this season to be a fantastic playmaker. While you've sat out 11 games with injuries you've made the most of your playing time in games you have played notching 34 points (9G, 25A) in 35 games, making you the best points per game Kings player. You continue to be strong on the puck, have great hands, and read the game well. Keep it up Fro!

Jeff Guiliano
Keep up the hard work and it's possible you won't be sent back down to Manchester before the season ends.

Michal Handzus
Grow your hair, then we'll talk.

Raitis Ivanans
Stop taking dumb penalties and get into more fights. What do we pay you for, goals?

Jack Johnson
You've played a much more defensive style than most critics anticipated. You're cautious about joining the attack; it's good that you're thinking defense first, but don't be too shy on offense. Even though you've had multiple scoring opportunities throughout the first half of the season, you only have 7 points. Don't be discouraged by your low points total, continue making smart plays (you have one of the first best passes out of the zone) and the scoring will eventually come. Oh, and don't be afraid to rough it up every now and then.

Anze Kopitar
Congrats on your first All-Star team nod. You're still scoring despite the increased coverage this season. You use your linemates well, but sometimes you need to use them more. At times it appears that you're trying to do everything by yourself, maybe because half the time no one else is really playing. But with other teams fully aware of your capabilities, you need to play with your linemates. But don't worry, you're still a stud.

Jaroslav Modry
You've done better than expected but you're still that defenseman who's just there. I don't know really know how you can improve your play.

Ladislav Nagy
Whenever you're on the verge of blowing up into a great scoring threat, you retreat back to "Invisible Nagy". You're so close to becoming a top goal scorer for this team and, quite frankly, we need you to step it up. Nagy, you're such a tease.

Patrick O'Sullivan
My heart flutters whenever you touch the that wrong? You're such a stud. I vote you "Most Improved" because I don't think any fans expected you to do this well. Brownie was expected to be this good a couple seasons ago so "Bravo" to you for playing like a champ. I'm not going to say anything else for fear that I may embarrass myself.

Tom Preissing
No words can describe how disappointed I am in your play this season.

Brad Stuart
BS. Enough said.

Scott Thornton
I'm still trying to figure out why you were named an Alternate Captain since you've only played 28 games (out of 46). You're actually tied with Nagy for the best +/- with a "+1" rating. Congrats!! Keep your head up, Thornton.

Lubomir Visnovsky
Oh, Lubo! You're still playing well, just not scoring goals like you did the past two seasons. Maybe next year when the team is much better you'll find your scoring touch again.

Brian Willsie
Wait, isn't your name Kevin Dallman? No? Wait, who are you?


CKim said...

Well done, kms. I can't even come close to choosing a favorite. Although it might be a tie between Sully and Stuart. hahahah

KMS2 said...

Thanks, ckim! I think my favorite is O'Sullivan's but Dallman's is a close second ;)

CKim said...

Do you think Handzus would grow a personality if he grew back the mullet?

KMS2 said...


CKim said...

I was watching some highlight reel a while back and they showed him in a fight last year and his hair was flopping around all over the place...and it was really me at least.

KMS2 said...

the curly mullet was so awesome!

Nadine said...

Ladies: We in Philadelphia had to deal with the phenomenon that is Kyle Calder last season.

No lie, I was at a game last season and my only thought about Kyle was, "If I was the coach, I'd be at his door every morning by 5:00 a.m. to roust his @$$ out of bed and make him run until he pukes or moves faster on the ice."

I couldn't believe how slow he was and how few goals he scored. I have felt your pain and really wouldn't wish it on your or anyone's team.

CKim said...

Nadine - As sad as it sounds, he's actually one of the few free agent signings that has semi-panned out this year...

KMS2 said...

Nadine: When we signed him I was praying that he would turn things around...he's done OK, but the team needs more from him. There are several other players that draw more negative attention which is why I think he doesn't look as bad.

ckim: I agree...I can't stand Stuart and Preissing. I know you don't like Handzus but I'm partial to him for no apparent reason. Maybe I'm dreaming...probably.

CKim said...

Yeah...I don't think I'll ever understand your interest in our resident ex-mullet man. =P

I think I like Preissing more than Stuart because (1) he doesn't make BLATANT mistakes and (2) he wrote a 95-page college thesis. So the boy is smart. Smart enough to not make STUPID MISTAKES!!!