Player evaluation: Williams

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JUSTIN WILLIAMS
This season: 12 games, 1 goal, 3 assists, 8 penalty minutes, 17:51 average ice time (with Kings); 32 games, 3 goals, 7 assists, 9 penalty minutes, 15:10 average ice time (with Carolina).
The good: Williams came in under some difficult circumstances, through no fault of his own. He was the player who came back in the controversial trade that sent Patrick O’Sullivan to Edmonton, and Williams had a broken finger at the time of the trade and didn’t make his Kings debut for two weeks. After seven games without a point, Williams had a one-goal, two-assist game against Phoenix on April 4 and was playing on the first line by the end of the season.
The bad: Keep in mind the image of Michal Handzus in 2007-08, when Handzus went through that typical year-after-ACL-surgery season. Reports from Carolina indicated that Williams was a step slow this season, and his combined four goals in 44 games fell well short of his past performances, which included two 30-goal seasons.
Going forward: Perhaps no player will be watched closer next season than Williams. In O’Sullivan, the Kings traded away a popular young player with potential. Dean Lombardi is adament that he got the better play in the trade, so it’s going to be up to Williams to prove him correct. Given the Kings seem increasingly comfortable with Dustin Brown in a second-line role, Williams is likely to be given first crack to be the first-line right winger.

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  • Ersberg

    He seemed like he was getting his legs back toward the end of the season. I still say Simmonds gets 30 goals before Williams does again, but he’ll do well, I’m sure.

  • iansez

    Did Williams and Quincey watch Zoolander right before doing their media pics?! What’s up with the male-model pout?! ;)

    Every team needs a Jay-Dub, let’s hope he hangs with Zues this summer and recovers full knee strength and speed…I personally don’t miss “perimeter Pats” 7 outside shots per game, just his defensive hustle which collectively shouldn’t be hard to replace, the trade has a ton of upside if JW regains form. The big if.

  • variable

    yeah…well said hammer…

    i think jw will be determined next season to return to his 30+ goal form…

    most of us have been saying that we would have to wait for jw to get the full monty of reviews come next training camp/early-mid season to fully evaluate what he’s got to give us…

    i am very optimistic…i’ve seen him play before w/carolina and thought he was a good player when healthy…

    so before everyone on here starts hating on him…(you know who you are)…let’s give him a chance and hope the “handzus effect” infects his play and he becomes the first-line winger that we need…

  • anthonyy

    This wasn’t about getting the better player.
    This was about bringing another ex-flyer to the team.

    The truth of the matter is that Williams will never put up the same numbers he did in Carolina.
    True O’Sullivan didn’t set the world on fire in Edmonton. But Mctavish put Sully on the 3rd line, as a checker, playing with Cogliano and Fernadon Pisani.
    The oiler GM stressed concern with the teams lack of scoring and fired McTavish with hope of finding a coach with more offensive input. So Sully will be just fine in Edmonton next season.

    But look at these numbers. Sully scored 16 goals in 81 games. Williams scored 4 goals in 44 games.
    Sully averages 1 goal every 5.065 games. Williams averages 1 goal every 11 games. PATHETIC.
    And he’s gonna get worse next year. Tampa Bay, Florida, Carolina, and Atlanta are no San Jose, Anaheim, Phoenix, & Dallas. So whoever believes that He’ll get anywhere near the numbers he put up in Carolina – pass the pipe, I want some of that stuff you’re smoking.

    This bust deserves the ultimate fail.
    Grade: F-

    And this score was not so much given on the lack of scoring. But also to the fact that Willaims played almost every game with Kopitar and Frolov. And he played a lot of time at the point on the Power play (he’s no Jarrot Stoll, LOL). How the hell do you get away with only scoring one goal.
    Pathetic.

  • darko25o

    his anticipation is second to maybe only Zeus. I enjoyed watching his positioning, and again, his anticipation,and I think once he becomes comfortable with his linemates, he’ll make good use of his speed and monster shot. If he returns to his Carolina form, he will be the fastest skater we have. I think alot of his weak numbers in Carolina were due to the injuries to Matt Cullen, and Brindamour, the two centers he played with. Couple that with the fact that Stillman, and Whitney were no longer on his left side-two very, very good wingers-and its easy to see why someone who was recovering from a ruptured tendon would have a dip in production. I do think Williams will be back with a vengence next year. He positions himself to get a quality scoring chance regularly, and I think thats what frustrates people with Calder, he never seems to be in the right spot.

  • Ersberg

    Anthony-

    Did you miss the part where he was injured this season? Plus, he was coming off of ACL surgery, like Zus did the year prior to last.

    Believe me when I say I was against the trade initially. If hadn’t shown some promise and stability towards the end of the season, I’d be right there with you. We have to allow him to regain his composure next season prior to his lynching. Cart..horse.

  • iansez

    Anthonyy, you make so many excuses for O’Sullivan, it’s always his line mates, the coaching etc…for whatever reason the bottom line is he really isn’t living up to the contract he currently has production-wise and wasn’t getting it done for the Kings.
    JW is somewhat of a gamble but BECAUSE OF the philly connection DL has background on the guy and felt it was a risk worth taking, that’s a positive thing not a negative, JW has a “higher ceiling” potential-wise than PO’S.

  • mrbrett7

    Here we go again…Anthonyy, did you miss Rich’s post about not repeating the same thing over and over again? I know you didn’t, because you replied to it.

    Williams will be fine. Scoring 30 goals in this league once can be an accident, doing it two years in a row while playing for a cup contender (who eventually won) is not an accident.

    Right now, on this team, there is only one player who reads the opposition better than he does…Frolov. That doesn’t mean he always makes/made the right play, I’m just saying his read on the game is incredible, and he has the ability to create based off of those reads.

    The man barely knew anyone’s name yet by the end of the season…geez…

  • wisconsinKingsfan

    I liked his play towards the end of the season and I thought he fit well with Frolov and Kopitar. And ok he only got that one goal on the 5 on 3 because Kopitar kept feeding him the puck, but still it went in. He has a bomb of a shot, seems quick, and is not afraid of the dirty areas. I look forward to seeing a full healthy year in a Kings uniform.

    I do miss Sully though….

  • Marc Nathan

    save for that one game against Phoenix, we got a chance to relive the Anson Carter experience. It was not fun the first time, and it wasn’t fun this time. The guy’s better than he showed, but not half as good as people think he’s gonna be. Dumb trade. Sorry. You’ll have a very hard time proving otherwise as time goes on.

  • variable

    i think i called the “you-know-who” comments…

  • TB

    Anthony strikes again! It’s not even worth addressing…ridiculous.

    What I like about Williams is the experience he brings. His stanely cup ring says it all. Why is it so important? Because unless we want to look like the Blues in the first round next year, we need guys who can lead the team when the heat is on.

    OK, forget what I said about ignoring Anthony…can’t help it…

    POS isn’t going to be setting the world on fire any time soon. Your buddy MacTavish put him on the 1st and 2nd lines to start and like here in LA, he couldn’t find a fit. So thats two teams…and the same problem with one player. You do the math.

    Its not fair to assess Williams yet. But it is fair to say that he is a better player when healthy. The numbers don’t lie. Also, in regards to the Philly obsession…so what? Really…so what? DL is surrounding himself with people he knows well, so that he has people he can trust and a team that WANTS to be together. Wow…what a concept. A team that has a real bond…

  • T

    Hey Marc Nathan, weren’t you the same guy that predicted O’Sullivan would lead the Kings in goals this season?

    So, by that prediction, I’ll predict Williams will out-score Osully next season.

  • Irish Pat

    iansez,

    Ha, ha! That is funny. I didn’t think Zoolander when I saw his photo, but my immediate reaction was, “What’s up ladies”. Zoolander… freakin’ priceless.

    I agree that it’s way too early to call this trade bad or good. Frankly, I’m pretty far from being excited about where Zoolander or any player fits on any line until after the draft much less after free agency opens up. I am eager for opening day to get here with a tougher roster.

  • anthonyy

    Now I’m not trying to stir things up or be provocative.
    Rich already warned me of that and I don’t want to be banned from this site.

    But I’m staying firm on this.
    Marc Nathan – this wasn’t a dumb trade. It was STUPID TRADE. Take away that Phoenix game where every single teammate was dishing him the puck, Williams numbers would have been 0 goals 1 assist in 11 games.
    I watched all the games he played for the kings. And even after focussing on him the entire game (all his shifts), I still had difficulty noticing him. He played like he was overweight and slow. He completely held back Kopi and Frolov. And putiing him at the point while on the power play was like watching a rodeo bull with a braw on. Every time he touched the puck, either the cycle or the play died.
    And no way this dude is 6’1. But with that haircut, I can see how a mistake can be made.

  • josh e.

    hahah i like the zoolander comment

  • BakoCAcameraGuy

    Anthonyy–

    Wanna go even-up Williams-Osully scoring next year? I’ll take Williams, you get OSully, highest points over the entire season the winner, loser to give 100 words of mea culpa on Rich’s pages (or more)?

    I’ll throw in a personalized Kings jersey (with Anthonyy or whatever on the back) if I lose…

    Wanna go?

  • Duckhunter

    KINGS FORWARD JUSTIN WILLIAMS:

    (Re game recap): “I have been putting a lot of pressure on myself to contribute. I should be an impact player out there….

    That’s the only thing I need to hear. When was the last time you heard a King say I’m an impact player and I need to produce? That’s accountability and a confidence the Kings have lacked in the past. He will be a valuable piece to move forward.

    This may sound silly. but I’d rather have a guy give 100% and get injured, than have a guy not play to his potential, because he won’t do the thing necessary to win.

  • CanadianKing

    Sully was and will forever be a perimeter player who’s not quite talented enough to score 30 goals playing that style. If someone ever teaches him how to crash the net and get some garbage goals, maybe then he will be, but I don’t see it happening.

    I like Williams more as a second liner than a first and I expect Brown to finally become a consistent first liner next season. Don’t forget, Brown is also a 30 goal scorer.

    Bottom line: Williams at even 25 goals next year is an upgrade over Sully.

  • Johnny Kick a Hole In The Sky

    Williams won’t outscore Frolov, Kopitar, Brown. New team, new system, new conference etc. I say 15-20 goals TOPS.

  • mrbrett7

    Marc…honestly, have you watched Williams play, outside of the handfull of out of shape games he had here in LA, or a game here and there in Carolina?

  • Josh

    Williams also finished 6th in playoff scoring. He also scored the Stanley Cup clinching empty net goal in the Hurricanes’ run in 2005-2006. That he was out on the ice at the end of a game like that speaks volumes about his playing ability at both ends of the rink and in clutch situations. We’re not going to do any damage if we get into the playoffs without some experienced guys to take the lead.

  • Anti-Anothny

    JW will be a better all around player than POS ever will be…POS is good but he’ll never be as good as what all you “Anthony’s” think he will be. For those of you that are comparing their stats from this season, you are totally out of whack, how can you even do that!! If they were both coming off injuries, then maybe but POS was healthy all year, figures though since he never was around the net to get touched.

    Just like all you Zeus haters out there that wanted him gone last season, JW will rebound like he did next season.

  • AK47

    Justin Williams should wear the “C” next year :)

  • brianguy

    85 / B

    he was pretty good off of injury. I think we’ll see some nice consistent scoring from him next season

  • Ersberg

    It really doesn’t matter what we say. The fact is, he’s pretty much a Hejduk, minus the injuries. Who know’s what this guy could have done without the nagging health problems.

    Come on, he frickin’ stuffed Turco into the back of the net WITH the puck. Any player that does that, gets a pass in my book. Yes, and free Zoolander memorabilia as well.

  • anthonyy

    BakoCameraGuy,
    You’re on.
    A gentleman’s bet.
    We both qualify. Which more than I can say for some.

  • s2

    BakoCAcameraGuy:

    I’m all over that bet!

  • Dionnefan

    People also forget that he came back too early from the finger injury and played hurt. I remember Jimmy Fox mentioning it several times. One quote in particular “You can see Williams is still bothered by that finger. Notice how he has to re-adjust his stick to keep it in a comfortable position”.

  • Ciccarelli

    GP G A P +/- PIM SH %
    2005-06 Carolina NHL 25 7 11 18 +12 34 71 9.86

    William’s playoff stats. Against good competition. playoff-hockey. Not Atlanta, Tampa, Florida.

    You can’t judge him off of this season’s stats, coming off of surgery. Well, you can, but you’d be wrong ;)

  • BakoCAcameraGuy

    Anthonyy–

    You made my day!

  • BakoCAcameraGuy

    My last word on Williams:

    One of the sparkplugs on the Cup-Winning Carolina team/ loves to do the dirty work in front of the net to get a goal/ fiery leader type/ recovers well from major injuries (has had too many of them, but good recovery is a FACT)/ will combat the Kings’ lack of take-charge players BY EXAMPLE/ don’t care if he was one of the Devil’s Own some day in the past as long as he Wears The Crown NOW (take THAT, Ex-Flyers!)/ will demonstrate to the Diaper Kiddie Corps (listening, Ko-boy?) what it takes to properly prepare for an NHL season/ will single-handedly win 5 games or so next season.

    Loved the trade from Day One, hated to lose POS in the process (don’t understand the preoccupation with the draft choice thrown in)…

    Williams and Simmonds will be the most surprising Kings next year…

  • anonandonanon

    This trade was the NHL GM equivalent of an interest only home loan.

    Justin Williams was and MAY return to being a great player. But after these injuries he ain’t fresh and is an old 27. There is a big gamble with the guy any way you cut it.

    The anti-Sullivan rhetoric is very reminiscent of another King forward who crossed a certain GM in the back allies of contract negotiation. Even though some folks still profess the quality of that deal, (and I can predict who they are), they were chumped by wee Mikey’s performance this year.

    Wait and see is all we can do.

  • stang

    The trade has been a bust so far. When a guy is injured for two weeks and can’t help your team in a playoff push you have yourself a bust.

    DL gave up on the Kings push for the playoffs this season in making this trade. It was all about next year and that’s the one problem I had with this trade. You are the GM you are supposed to ice the best team you can at all times but when he traded for Willims it was lights out on the season and bring on the tank job for the pick.

    People talk about O’Sullivan playing on the perimiter I don’t think I say JW go to the net with conviction once since he’s been here. I want him to succeed but he’s gonna have to be our best player next year for this to be a great trade.

  • Baumgartner22

    anthony-
    as long as you’re using ridiculously small sample sizes of statistics to evaluate a JW’s performance as a king, why don’t you evaluate the following players based on these sample sizes?

    dustin brown – 0 pts in last 12 games of season

    wayne simmonds – 9 pts, 25 PIMs in last 15 games of season.

    davis drewiske – 3 pts in last 3 games.

  • JDM

    Duckhunter gets it.

  • 28 KINGS

    “This wasn’t about getting the better player.
    This was about bringing another ex-flyer to the team.”

    You could not be anymore wrong.

  • jkaflagg

    It was very clear that Willims was not 100% in LA, was was especially affected by the broken finger….you could tell that his puckhandling was very tentative. That said…agree that this could be a make-or-break for Dean,……Given his long string of trade and free agent disasters, he needs a win……

  • BakoCAcameraGuy

    stang–

    Hard to skate hard to the net without normal hand strength. Defencemen lean on you, poking at the puck with their sticks, occasional double-teams…

    Judge JW that way again next year.

  • nykingfan

    Anthonyy…the pipe’s on the way to you! lol

    I have to defend Anthonyy a little here. I never found him to be rude to me and I certainly have given him hell….he’s just rude to the coach and GM and anyone with a Philly connection..which we let him have it all the time. His comments are wayyyy out there…but again, it gets some of us going which makes for great debate. With little sleep after a tough loss and sitting at work…what’s better than reading one of his posts and throwing the donut at the computer screen in disgust? LOL
    I would hope he’s not a candidate to be kicked off…that wouldn’t be cool. Right or wrong, he’s always about hockey.

    Williams is going to be key to the Kings success next season. He showed some flashes of the player most of us have seen before but certainly not enough to convince me that’s he’s back.
    I don’t think the Sully loss is much of a loss at all. He was never going to be a big scorer here and come playoff time, guys who play like him usually disappear. Its the grinders and gritty players that succeed in the post season. That’s the type of player Williams was and better be.

  • Telos

    I think Anthony said the very same thing about Handzus when we got him.

  • jet

    anonandonanon – okay, I’ll take the bait on the Cammi trade. You say he scored 30+ goals and got his team to the playoffs, so therefore the Kings lost in the trade. I say the Flames gave up the 13th overall in what is likely to be the known as the deepest draft in history. In return, they received a one year player who (other than the last game of the season, which was then meaningless to both teams) scored 4 goals in the past 20 games. So, at the time the team needed him the most, Cammi was a complete failure. This was one of the main factors for the Flames dropping to an away team and they may be the worst road team in the playoffs. Sounds pretty one sided to me. If Cammi gets hot and scores 8 goals on the way to the finals, then maybe it was worth it.
    He wants to go to the Leafs, but will Burke pay big for a 58 player? Calgary has a small shot at resigning him if his value continues to drop.

  • jet

    Anthonyy- I do agree with one of your points. If the new Oilers coach does not make POS play defense and he can hang around the top of the zone, then yes, he will score more points than JW. But, does that make POS a better player?

  • Moondoggie

    Duckhunter….Where have you been and why don’t you comment more often???

    Agreed and nicely said, same with Nykingsfan and Ersberg. JW was obviously hurt coming in. This is total Handzus all over again; it takes one full year to come back from ACL surgery. He definitely appeared to be regaining his stride towards the end of the season. If the experts are correct, the Kings got the better of this deal.

    Whether he returns to being a thirty goal scorer or not remains to be seen. But as much as I loved having Sully on the team, JW goes to the net better, has greater leadership skills and is by far a more physical player than Sully was. JW doesn’t hang on the fringe of the play, he’s usually right in the middle of the action.

    We’ll all watch him closely but don’t be surprised at all to see a vastly improved and faster Justin Williams next season. He make Kopi and Fro much better players and we all know how critical that is to the long term success to this team. He’ll do just fine and we’ll get at least 20+ goals out of him next season. After that, the sky is the limit with JW.

    PS – I’d like to have some of the Sully vs Williams action too, any takers???

  • AK47

    So I hear we’re firing TM and hiring Craig McTavish? That would be impeccable.. Perfect plan by DL. Hire TM to make the young kids play more defensively, fire him and hire a true winner in McTavish, but keep TM as one of the assistants!

  • Ersberg

    re TM vs. MacT

    Two steps forward, thirty back(I’m fairly confident you weren’t serious).

  • brianguy

    F-? are you F***t**ded?

    that grade alone deserves banishment. what a dummy

  • Duckhunter

    Moondoggie

    Hello my friend. Family, school and work consume 30 hours of my day. I still read everybody’s comments on a daily basis, but can’t find the energy or time to participate myself. I usually read everybody’s comments before I go to bed, which gives me a good laugh and puts me to sleep in a lighter mood. But I’m still here rooting for our beloved Kings. Have a good day.

  • brianguy

    “People also forget that he came back too early from the finger injury and played hurt. I remember Jimmy Fox mentioning it several times. One quote in particular “You can see Williams is still bothered by that finger. Notice how he has to re-adjust his stick to keep it in a comfortable position”.”

    I would like to echo that sentiment. I’ve never put much credo into hand injuries, but you never know what it’s like until you try to play with one. I would say ankle, hand, and groin are the three worst “minor” injuries in hockey. there are worse ones that fall under the guise of a “major” injury, but hand is definitely no fun. you can’t even grip the stick correctly, let alone stickhandle or shoot. and that means being relegated to a checking role if you’re even out there.

  • http://homestarenergyprogram.wetpaint.com/ Home Star Energy Program

    Good post, thanks