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Dvorak Making the Most of His Opportunity in Anaheim

The midseason signee has three goals in his last three games for the Ducks

Wednesday, 04.10.2013 / 12:22 PM PT / News
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Dvorak Making the Most of His Opportunity in Anaheim
“It was tough for me to leave after 17 years in the league, but that’s how it is,” the personable Dvorak said soon after reporting to the Ducks last month. “That’s life. But it’s nice to be back with a team like Anaheim, one of the best teams in the league. I’m very happy.”
By Adam Brady
AnaheimDucks.com

When the Ducks were looking for someone to fill the offensive gap left when Ryan Getzlaf missed the last three games with a leg injury, they certainly couldn’t have guessed they’d get it from a guy who wasn’t even in the league three weeks ago.

But 36-year-old Radek Dvorak has scored three goals in his last three games with the Ducks, including the only two for Anaheim in a 2-1 victory over the Oilers on Monday night.

Despite a resume that included 17 NHL seasons and 1,196 games, Dvorak wasn’t signed by an NHL team coming out of the lockout. The native of Tabor, Czechoslovakia played a handful of games for HC Davos in in Switzerland’s National League A before the Ducks signed him for the rest of the season back on March 24.

“It was tough for me to leave after 17 years in the league, but that’s how it is,” the personable Dvorak said soon after reporting to the Ducks last month. “That’s life. But it’s nice to be back with a team like Anaheim, one of the best teams in the league. I’m very happy.”

Since being drafted 10th overall by Florida in 1995, Dvorak is well-traveled. He played for the Panthers, New York Rangers, Edmonton Oilers, St. Louis Blues, Atlanta Thrashers and last year for the Dallas Stars. Count Saku Koivu among the Ducks teammates who were amazed Dvorak wasn’t plucked up by an NHL team sooner.

“He’s just a really good guy," Souray says. "He plays hard. He’s an honest player. He’s going to be a depth guy where he can fill in anywhere and play well. His attitude and consistency is as good as anybody.”

“If you look at his season last year in Dallas and the line he was a part of, the third line with (Vernon) Fiddler and (Eric) Nystrom, that was a really effective, tough line to play against,” Koivu told the OC Register. “I was real surprised to see that he didn’t get a job anywhere when the lockout ended.

“He went to Switzerland and had a few games there. But when you can add a guy like that and not lose an asset at that point of the season, I think it’s huge.”

It was in Dallas that Dvorak played with current Ducks defenseman Sheldon Souray, who has had nothing but glowing things to say about “Devo.”

“I really enjoyed playing with him last year,” Souray said. “He plays really hard and he’s a positive and upbeat guy. “I was surprised he didn’t get a contract at the end of [last season] going into this year, because he had a pretty good year in Dallas. He was one of the guys who was really consistent. And again, his attitude was great last year.

“He’s just a really good guy. He plays hard. He’s an honest player. He’s going to be a depth guy where he can fill in anywhere and play well. His attitude and consistency is as good as anybody.”

Dvorak played seven regular season games for Davos this season, as well as a first round playoff series in which they were eliminated in Game 7.

“I went over to Switzerland to finish the season there, and deep in my mind, in my soul, I was hoping to come back, and it happened,” Dvorak said. “My priority, when I went to Switzerland, was to be there and play my best to help the team win, but we lost in the first round. I was there on my own. My family stayed in Florida so I didn’t see them for seven weeks.

Dvorak had the only two Ducks goals in Monday night's 2-1 victory over Edmonton. 

“As soon as I got back [to the States] I get a nice call from Anaheim and I couldn’t believe it. It was a nice surprise.”

And he’s paid the Ducks back with his recent offensive production, including Monday night against the Oilers when he punched in rebound goals in the first and third periods.

“I think Rick [Ducks Director of Player Personnel Rick Paterson] and Bob did a great job in finding this guy at the last moment here,” said coach Bruce Boudreau after that game. “Adding experience and depth to our roster where he can come in and play and make it almost a difficult decision on a nightly basis to put 12 guys in.

“Not because there’s not enough good forwards but because you have a plethora of them.”

With the postseason looming, the depth Dvorak adds to that forward corps could prove critical. During a time of the season when space on the ice is at a minimum, Dvorak “knows how to play in a tight game,” according to Boudreau.

Adds Souray, “He’s played a lot of games and has a lot of experience. For the amount of time left in the season and in the playoffs, he’s a perfect guy to have.”

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STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 51 24 7 228 221 109
2 y - STL 82 51 24 7 239 197 109
3 x - NSH 82 47 25 10 226 202 104
4 x - CHI 82 48 28 6 220 186 102
5 x - VAN 82 48 29 5 236 220 101
6 x - MIN 82 46 28 8 227 198 100
7 x - WPG 82 43 26 13 223 204 99
8 x - CGY 82 45 30 7 237 213 97
9 LAK 82 40 27 15 218 197 95
10 DAL 82 41 31 10 257 257 92
11 COL 82 39 31 12 209 223 90
12 SJS 82 40 33 9 224 226 89
13 EDM 82 24 44 14 193 276 62
14 ARI 82 24 50 8 165 267 56

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 77 25 45 15 70
C. Perry 67 33 22 13 55
R. Kesler 81 20 27 -5 47
J. Silfverberg 81 13 26 15 39
S. Vatanen 67 12 25 5 37
P. Maroon 71 9 25 -5 34
C. Fowler 80 7 27 4 34
H. Lindholm 78 7 27 25 34
M. Beleskey 65 22 10 13 32
R. Rakell 71 9 22 6 31
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 35 12 5 .914 2.38
J. Gibson 13 8 0 .914 2.60

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