Over the last little while, a certain member of the Anaheim Ducks has been generating a lot of talk from the hockey world, and no, I am not talking about Corey Perry.
Who am I talking about you might ask?
Well, the answer to that question is Norris candidate, Lubomir Visnovsky.
Does Visnovsky deserve to be a Norris candidate? Yes. Not only does he deserve to be mentioned in Norris talks, but I believe he should win it.
All year long I have mainly heard that the winner of this award should be Nicklas Lidstrom or Keith Yandle. Will one of Lidstrom or Yandle win the award? Likely, but I think Visnovsky is more deserving for the award, and I will show you all why.
Here are the stat lines for the three defenseman.
ANA – Visnovsky – GP:79 / G:18 / A:49 / P:67 / plus 17 / TOI per game:24:24 / Team goal differential: -+1
DET – Lidstrom – GP:80 / G:16 / A:46 / P:62 / minus 3 / TOI per game: 23.31 / Team goal differential: +21
PHX – Yandle – GP:80 / G:11 / A:48 / P:59 / plus 11 / TOI per game: 24:21 / Team goal differential: +6
What do these stats prove? Everything they need to. Not only does Visnovsky lead the group in goals, assists, points and time on ice per game, but he leads the group in plus/minus.
Why do I find that important? Because Visnovsky plays on a team with the lowest goal differential, and somehow has the highest plus/minus of the three, which is quite remarkable.
Some – who are not familiar with Visnovsky – would say that he only leads all those categories because he is only put into offensive situations, but that would be false.
Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle has Visnovsky playing in any and all situations. He plays the powerplay, penalty kill, and alongside Toni Lydman is paired up against the opposing teams’ best lines night after night.
Though I would not be shocked or surprised to see Lidstrom or Yandle win the award, I would be disappointed to an extent, as I really feel Visnovsky deserves it the most.
What say you?
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