Hip Czech

ARTHUR:

So how good was Lubomir Visnovsky? The Ducks were 8-5-3 in the Month of Lubo (March 6th-April 6th), but many of those games were played without Wisniewski (and obviously all of them without Ryan Whitney), so it's hard to go by team record. What about the basic stat line?

GP G A Pts +/- PIM PPG PPA Hits GvA TkA SOG MsS
16 5 8 13 -6 4 1 5 5 13 11 53 18

The -6 is rough, and there are no isolated Corsi ratings available, but Visnovsky logged two multiple minus efforts over his month with the team: a 5-2 win against Colorado and a 4-5 overtime loss to Vancouver. Other than that, the number is a factor of several -1 efforts, but that's nothing special on this Ducks team. The PIM came in the form of a Hooking penalty against the Islanders and an Interference penalty against the Sharks. Other than those negatives, it's all good stuff here, especially over a 16-game sample.

Lubo had a game winning goal, three multi-point efforts and one seven shot night against Nashville. In fact, the blueliner posted 4 or more shots in half of his 16 games in an Anaheim uniform. Getzlaf, by comparison, recorded 4 or more shots in 35% of his starts this season.

More after the jump...

Lubo was a horse down the stretch, logging 24.9 shifts per game and the longest shift average on the team with 63 seconds. His time on ice per game was 25:59, with 20:17 at even strength, 5:09 on the power play and 0:33 shorthanded. He played that time on the usual Randy Carlyle rotisserie, but he most often found himself in an even strength pairing with Sheldon Brookbank or Aaron Ward. His primary partner on special teams was, of course, Scott Niedermayer.

Lubo's 25:59 per game was key for anyone worried about his ability to replace a player 6 years his junior in Whitney. The 6'4" blueliner averaged 24:33 per game for the Ducks, and Visnovsky was averaging only 20:45 per game in Edmonton. But Lubo came through with a five minute jump AND two more minutes of power play time per game than Whitney had produced. It's a significantly smaller sample size, but Visnovsky seems up to the challenge of a Carlyle corps.

It would be a gross understatement to say that Visnovsky "seems to be working out." The defenseman is fostering forgiveness amongst a fanbase scorned by Bob Murray's recent blueline decisions, be they Whitney, Wisniewski, Boynton or the decision to be Sbisa-free. But I, for one, have trouble giving Murph too much credit for this. His pro scouting interest in the OIlers seemed to lay with Ethan Moreau just a month earlier, so Darryl Sutter's decision to come a-calling for Vesa Toskala (and his hefty salary) may have been the driving force behind getting this deal done. So, I guess I'm saying 'Thank you, Darryl. Thank you for Lubomir Visnovsky."

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