Monday, September 21, 2009

2009-2010 Player Profiles: Brett Lebda...

OK, it’s that time of year. Hockey’s so close that you can almost taste it. By my count, there are 11 days remaining before the Wings kick off their season in Sweden (which is still entirely too many, but at least we can see the light at the end of the tunnel). In order to pass the time, I’ll be posting a player profile every day until then (in alphabetical order, because I’m one of those people). I want to make it very clear that these are not predictions, because I do not, under any circumstance, make predictions. They’re simply my thoughts on each player’s performances last season, and my hopes and expectations for them this time around. Today’s subject:

Brett Lebda

2008-2009 Regular Season: 65 GP, 6-10-16, +/- 9, 48 PIM
2009 Playoffs: 23 GP, 0-6-6, +/- 8, 22 PIM

Season Highlight: His Winter Classic goal.
Season Lowlight: Being utterly forgettable the rest of the time.

Lebda’s run last season was much like the rest of his seasons in the NHL. It was nothing special, but neither was it truly terrible. He was just kind of there. He’s an interesting player because I like to pick on him, but I’m not entirely sure he deserves most of the yelling that I do. Granted, he’ll never be an all star, but after several minutes of deep thought, I’ve come to the conclusion that he’s not really bad, he just happens to stand out as being less talented than his fellow Wings defensemen. And that’s entirely understandable considering that he suits up with the likes of Lidstrom, Rafalski, and Kronwall.

Lebda’s season is going to depend a lot on what happens with Lilja and his concussion. As of now, Lebda’s slated to be paired up with Jonathan Ericsson this season, but if Lilja gets healthy, then Lebda’s liable to find himself in the press box or as trade bait. Assuming he’s a regular in the lineup, he should put up about the same numbers as he did last year. He and Ericsson will still make a pretty good third pairing, and the Wings defense corps is still one of (if not the) deepest in the league. And I’ll continue to sweat it out while he’s on the ice, and then promptly forget about him as soon as he goes off on a line change.

What he needs to do to make me happy: Just keep playing his reasonably solid defensive game. Nothing flashy.

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