PLD and how I learned to quit worrying about the bomb

jammer06

Nyssa's Minion
TEAM LGK
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Sep 25, 2008
Messages
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Well we have our current problem child who is definitely a first world problem. Remember we are talking about a team that has current profiles that look like this according to various websites in terms of predictions for the post season:



We also have a player who has been "outperformed" by the players he was traded for


Yes he's playing with 3rd liners, being deployed in favorable offensive zone situations and doesn't do a lick of PK work from the bottom 6, but he's also doing that bottom 6 work quite well:

PLD stats.png


So what is it that we have at 8.5 million over the next 8 years? A luxury is what we currently have, which is actually the same thing that was traded away in the package that left. This staff, if you believe in them, is concentrating on shoring up the bigger hot spots in the lineup than worrying about getting production from their bottom six. Especially considering the production they are already getting from their bottom six.

Does PLD look checked out at times? Absolutely! Did we know that going in? Blake sure f***ing better have. So far he's checking out on all facets of what everyone thought he was, but that also includes the good parts. Considering the team is about to go into Christmas without having 10 regulation losses yet there is quite a bit of runway before this deal is anything close to a disaster. Going into this season the three biggest factors to team success were #1) not having a goaltending start like last season #2) The PK could not give up a goal a game and #3) Will Trevor Moore be the player that Blake bet on when he signed him and traded away AI and Gabe.

Trevor and Q paying off keep all questions about PLD in the same realm as before, what do we do with these productive players that may not have a home in our top six at the moment. He's a luxury, the staff just has to figure out the best way to showcase that bling.
 
PLD has the worst +/- with a minus 5. The only other players in the minus column are Fiala -1 and Laferriere -1.

I remember LA Kings teams where half the roster was in the minus. Some in double digits.

Is PLD overpaid for his performance this season? Well, yes.

Is this the best performing LA Kings team in several seasons? Well, yes.

Was Vilardi Injury prone in his stint with the Kings? Well, yes.

Could Rob Blake's Crystal Ball be a little more accurate? Well, yes.
 
I get that in the now, it really isn't that big of a deal that PLD is not performing. In fact, I am truly enjoying this team's play this season. Aside from a handful of games, they've been extremely competitive and getting all the accolades associated with that. My concern is what happens when Kopitar hangs them up? The length and cost of the contract PLD was given tells me he should be ready to fill those shoes. That clearly is not what I am seeing on the ice. No PK time, unproductive on the PP, not making his "third tier line mates" better, and getting the seasons #1 point getter moved off his line to try to spark something. Adding to that Q hasn't been tested as an NHL center yet, no franchise goaltender anywhere in sight, and management always bouncing off the cap ceiling. I may be being hyper critical but unless PLD flips a switch and begins playing like his contract, I fear this signing will handcuff the franchise for years to come.
 
Gheez, who cares? Really... We are fortunate enough to have PLD as our third line center. Even with only 5 goals and - rating we play at a 690% tilt. Has anyone seen him in the playoffs, you know, something ZERO analysts have complained about? He's a friggin' force when it counts. We don't need him to be Kopi 2.0 now, but, he needs to show up big-time in the playoffs.
 
Gheez, who cares? Really... We are fortunate enough to have PLD as our third line center. Even with only 5 goals and - rating we play at a 690% tilt. Has anyone seen him in the playoffs, you know, something ZERO analysts have complained about? He's a friggin' force when it counts. We don't need him to be Kopi 2.0 now, but, he needs to show up big-time in the playoffs.
The Kings need to make the playoffs so we all can see him perform.
 
But isn't Dubois getting paid the big bucks right now? If so, why is he entitled to a bye until the playoffs? Surely Blake should be telling the bloke to get off his ass, get it in gear and start earning his money now...or at least look like he's trying. Is everyone afraid of him or afraid of upsetting him or something?

Surely he's been here long enough to be at least showing some signs of drive, assertiveness and potential? I've not seen any of that from him. He appears to be a guy who knows he's getting paid enough not to have to worry about retaining his place on the team sheet. Maybe Gabe Vilardi's injury problems were a big part of because he actually got stuck and played in instead of, as Dubois gives the strongest impression to me of doing, merely floating around the ice, picking and choosing when to get involved.

I only ever get to see the NHL highlights on YouTube so maybe all of his play is being left out, but the discussion, reactions and observations regarding this guy from many experienced LGK people in here seem to endorse my own perception that he's doing no more on the ice now than he appears to be which is, given the size of his pay check, to me at least, far short of what we and his teammates should be entitled to expect even at this stage.
 
With PLD I'm not personally offended that he sucks so far, but I will be personally offended if he handcuffs the team for years to come. People think he's going to fill Kopi's shoes? Lol. Kopitar shows up all year, and in the playoffs. If the only thing that can get this guy going is playoff wins, then it is because of the team around him, not him, because that's a lazy unmotivated player. At this point the guy can't even keep the puck on his stick - so he may be worse at hockey than he is lazy. I never got the trade from the start, but Blake will do Blake things. So far he looks about a 4C, a few large steps behind Kopitar.

He's a friggin' force when it counts.

Unfortunately people said the same about Korpisalo. Trading for "playoff players" (who haven't won anything) is short sighted and not the reason the Kings can't get past the first round.
 
I could give a sh*t about PLD underperforming, what I'm pissed about is giving up Vilardi for it. My initial thoughts when the trade went down (I only knew what I read about PLD)...it's either going to be Blake's best trade, or his worst. We all know which one it's trending towards...
 
One argument I see out there is what about Ryan O’Reilly. It’s a bit of a fool’s errand to what-if UFAs because it assumes unknowable factors, like whether they wanted to play in LA or not. Bjugstad left a believed-favorite in EDM to return to AZ. We never know what the players actually want.

Admittedly it’s easy to drool over the thought of Vilardi still being on this team and playing wing to RoR for basically the money PLD’s making now, assuming he’d sign here. But O’Reilly is 32 and signed for 4 years. That means Kings’ top 3 centers are in their 30s, a couple well in, for the next 4 years. PLD at 25 makes more sense given the “now and in the future” approach.

One other angle in this thought experiment is that the whole premise rests its success on still having Vilardi. How many points would RoR have if he was playing with PLD’s wingers this year? As frustrating as PLD’s lack of production is, it’s not entirely shocking.
 
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I could give a sh*t about PLD underperforming, what I'm pissed about is giving up Vilardi for it. My initial thoughts when the trade went down (I only knew what I read about PLD)...it's either going to be Blake's best trade, or his worst. We all know which one it's trending towards...
Yup...it makes no sense.

The way I looked at it, if we gave up Kupari, Iafallo and a draft pick I'd still think we gave away too much for one player...but Vilardi on top of that? Wow.

And now we have PLD's fat contract to boot?

Hopefully PLD starts playing up to his potential...but I still hate the trade. Big time.
 
Unfortunately people said the same about Korpisalo. Trading for "playoff players" (who haven't won anything) is short sighted and not the reason the Kings can't get past the first round.
That's not my point:

1. He's playing with 3rd and 4th line players, Vilardi is on the Jet's top line.
2. He won't get the same numbers that he got on other teams in his current 3rd line role.
3. Because of DEPTH, when it counts THIS YEAR, is gonna be the playoffs, because we are well-balanced even with him playing at this rate.
4. Once he's moved, flanked by better talent (Fiala didn't even work on Kopi's line) his numbers will go up too.
5. What do all the players who have won their first cups have in common? They hadn't won it prior...
6. Korpisalo didn't sign here long term, that was a rental.
 
Have people forgotten how streaky Vilardi is? Have you forgotten that he lead the Kings in points early last year and was a PPG player for the first 4-6 weeks of the season?

Have people forgotten how PLD lead the Jets in Points and was a PPG player for the first half of the season last year? On top of that, I think he did this while being a Winger for the most part.

I would love to see more from PLD, but in his current role and with his current linemates it is what it is. We are also just shy of 30 games played so far this year. Give it some time folks.

I liked the idea of getting PLD, but did not like that Vilardi was part of the package.

The Kings are playing the best hockey that have played in a long time. Are considered to be a cup conteneder by most pundits out there. So, getting riled up about this trade 30 games into it is not time well spent IMO.
 
The only times I really seem to notice him is when he's trying really dumb stuff, like skating directly into three defenders thinking he's going to power his way through and instead turns it over.
 
PLD really lived off the PP during his time with the Jets, which accounted for 36% of his points (41% of his goals) last season and 32% the season before (54% of his goals). So far this season he has one PP point and is playing on the second unit. If the Kings really want to get him going it may be prudent to give him some time of the top PP unit, but likely in order to do so he would have to replace QB who has thus far been outplaying him.
 
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