All signs point toward Lubomir Visnovsky returning to the lineup according to Eric Stephens of The OC Register Ducks Blog. After practicing all week the 35-year-old should draw back in for the first time since breaking his finger on November 11th.
In addition, the offensive defender is not expected to be eased back into the lineup says coach Bruce Boudreau. “If he’s ready to play, I anticipate him to be as good as he can be,” Boudreau said. “I’m one of those guys [where] I don’t believe in guys giving an excuse already made for themselves like ‘Well, I haven’t played in a while or it’s going to take time to get ready.'”
Expect Visnovsky, barring a setback, to play on the top defensive pairing and top power play unit tonight.
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So far all news coming out of Anaheim has been relatively bad — coach firings, line juggling, middling play. Well, their luck may be turning as Lubomir Visnovsky is expected to return to the lineup within the next 10 days. According to Mark Whicker of The OC Register Ducks Blog, Visnovsky could be spotted at practice by mid-week so get ready to activate the offensive defenseman. Considering Sheldon Brookbank, Francois Beauchemin and Niklas Hagman are no substitutes for Lubo, we feel confident he will assume his role as the number one defenseman.
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UPDATE 11/12/11: Last night, Anaheim Ducks defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky broke a finger in his right hand on the last shift of the game according to Eric Stephens of The Orange County Register, via Twitter. He is expected to miss four week. The 35-year-old defender was already struggling due to a broken finger in his left hand which likely contributed to his one goal and four points with a minus-7 rating over 16 games.
While this blow is a big one for the Ducks offense to take, it looks like the team will handle the situation internally. Swiss defender Luca Sbisa is expected to move up to the top defensive pairing while offensive defenseman Kurtis Foster likely draws back into the lineup. Both skaters are more than capable of splitting Visnovsky’s power play time as well.
If you find yourself in need of a puck-moving d-man you may want to give one of the team’s internal options a try. Otherwise Dmitry Kulikov, Dan Girardi, Sami Salo, Jason Garrison and Dan Hamhuis have all been hot commodities as of late.