The Tampa Bay Lightning have been off to a bit of a slow start to the season, losing two of their first three games, but things aren't about to get much easier for them. Defender Mattias Ohlund, the Bolts' alternate captain and one of their best defenders, is going to have anthroscopic surgery to clean up some loose bodies in his knees, and is expected to miss at least 4-to-6 weeks.
Ohlund has been dealing with injury issues on and off in recent seasons. He started last year on the Injured Reserve list and missed a month and a half, and he had been dealing with knee issues during the preseason this year. The Bolts were hoping he'd be back quicker and wouldn't require surgery, but after resting for 10-11 days, apparently his knees didn't respond well enough to being given time off.
Coach Guy Boucher was obviously disappointed by the news, noting how it leaves a big hole in your lineup whenever you lose someone from your top line. But John Fontana over at Raw Charge doesn't see Ohlund's absence as something to stress out about:
While Victor Hedman has been a mainstay on the defense since his drafting in 2009, the spotlight falls upon him to step up to the next level now that his mentor is out for an extended period. New acquisitions Bruno Gervais and Matt Gilroy both need to assimilate themselves into the 1-3-1 system. Gervais will be starting on defense tonight in place of Gilroy, who may benefit from watching the game from the press box. It gives a different understanding and perspective on what's supposed to be done on defense.
This injury hurts the Lightning, no doubt. But they could certainly be in worse situations.