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Is this group better than a 10th place team? You bet it is. This season hasn’t started off as planned for the high powered Lightning. Whether mired in goaltending issues, defensive woes or a 1-3-1 “scandal” or sorts, the Lightning have yet to get on a nice run. Like a lot of teams, consistency seems to be the main issue here; specifically, defensive consistency.

Victor Hedman and Eric Brewer are the two guys that were really expected to step up when news broke that Mattias Ohlund would be out for a while. Neither guy has done so with Brewer regressing from last year’s form and Hedman seemingly stuck in a development slump.

Understandably, this team is going to give Hedman all the time in the world to develop. He was a number two draft pick for a team that desperately needed to bolster its back end. But now, in his third full season with the Lightning, Hedman needs to show signs of being that top guy they envisioned. Look at what Adam Larsson has been able to do for New Jersey; I’d just like to see some signs of that out of Hedman. At this point, he is on pace for his worst offensive year in his young career. That’s not the kind of thing fans want to see moving forward.

Then you have Eric Brewer. Last season, under Boucher’s style, Brewer was able to thrive in Tampa. In fact, one could go as far as saying that he was one of the most valuable guys in the playoffs for the team. This season, we’ve seen a different Brewer. He has been unspectacular in both ends of the rink. Now, Brewer was never the offensive dynamo type, but he was always good at making that first pass. We haven’t seen that this year. With the team sitting where it is in the standings, it would be hard to bench your number one defenseman in an attempt to move up, but something needs to be done.

These two defenseman really make up the core of the defense moving forward. If the Lightning are going to have any success going forward, these two are going to have to take big leaps forward in their play. Guy Boucher is well aware that defense wins championships. Defense and goaltending took them on a nice little run last season. Hopefully these two guys can figure things out quickly or it may be too late.

The next two weeks are incredibly important for this team. There is a mix of opponents that should challenge every facet of our roster. I’ll be back to update on those games as we get closer to the time.

Thanks for reading and have a good evening.

Follow me on Twitter: @michaelstuart93
Filed Under:   tampa   bay   lightning   defense   struggle  
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Blog Archive

01 Lightning News and Notes to Start December
02 Why Bolts Must Get Into Bobby Ryan Trade Discussions
02 Breaking News: Lightning Make Minor Trade with Panthers
03 10 Bold Predictions for Rangers vs. Lightning Game
04 Lightning Lose to Rangers: My Prediction Round Up
06 Simply Embarassing: Lightning Drop 5th Straight to Islanders
08 Lightning Beat Rangers to End Losing Streak - Mixed Bag
10 The 1-3-1 Returns: Flyers Take on Bolts at Wells Fargo
11 Lightning Fall to Flyers: The Slot Looks Like a Drive-Thru
12 From Bad to Worse + Lightning Sign Miettinen
14 Lightning Talk: Defensemen to Target in Free Agent Frenzy
14 Scenario
15 Bolts Squeeze By Flames Thanks to Dominant Second Period
17 Lightning Should Make a Push for Shea Weber
18 Bolts Down Blue Jackets + Rumor Round-Up
20 Why the Lightning WILL make the Playoffs This Season
22 Lightning Embarrassed by Sharks in San Jose: U-G-L-Y
22 Tampa Bay Lightning: I Want Your Opinions
23 Bolts vs. Avalanche: A Long-Winded Game Preview
24 Bolts Lose to Avalanche in Goalie Battle + Rumor Round-Up
25 Risky Business: Victor Hedman and Other Top-5 D-Men
26 Flyers vs. Bolts Shaping Up to be a Great Game -- Preview
27 Next 6 Games Vital for Lightning + My Predictions
27 Bryzgalov Shaky as Lightning Beat Up on Flyers
29 A Tale of Two Underperforming Teams: Bolts vs. Canadiens
29 A V for Vinny, a V for Victory: Bolts Down Habs 4-3
30 Bolts/Canes Preview + HB Hotstove Response + Rumor Update
31 Lightning Defeat 'Canes 5-2 on Phil Esposito Night