BY JUSTIN DEMARCO
We here at Two Minutes for Blogging would like to take credit for defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky staying in New York thanks to our article about the reasons why Lubo will be a perfect fit on Long Island, even if an arbitrator had the final say in upholding the June 22nd trade that sent the former Anaheim Duck to the New York Islanders.
The good news for the offensively challenged and defensively shaky Islanders group that ranked 28th out of 30 NHL teams in goals per game averaging 2.39 during the 2011-12 season and posted the fourth worst total in the league with 3.06 goals against per game, is that they now have a solid veteran on defense who can put up points and play a steady game in his own zone.
The 36-year old has scored 15 or more goals in a season four times during his career and posted his best offensive numbers during the 2010-11 campaign when he scored 18 goals and had 50 assists for the Ducks. He’s also defensively reliable with a +32 plus-minus rating for his career.
Hopefully, Visnovsky can take some pressure off of Islanders Captain Mark Streit who missed the entire 2010-11 season due to injury and struggled to find his All-Star form last year.
Streit ended the 2011-12 season tied for fourth on the Isles in scoring with 47 points, but also owned the fourth worst +/- in the entire league with a -27 rating. The Isles are hoping that Streit will bounce back this year and be the same player who was the second defenseman since the NHL lockout to lead his team in scoring. Streit accomplished that feat in 2009-10 when he put up 56 points.
Who was the first defenseman to lead his team in scoring after lockout?
You guessed it… Lubomir Visnovsky when he put up 67 points in the 2005-06 season for the Los Angeles Kings.