Tampa Bay Lightning defender Mattias Ohlund has been out the entire season after having knee surgery, and the odds of him playing for the Bolts this season are doubtful.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have had one of the more porous defenses in the league, allowing 105 goals through 31 games -- the third worst total in the Eastern Conference. While many Lightning fans have been hoping their defense would get a midseason boost by the return of top defender Mattias Ohlund, it sounds increasingly likely that the Bolts may have to do without Ohlund for the entire season.
"It just hurts him a lot more than what he would have expected or the doctors would have expected," Boucher said. "It's ... difficult to manage because you can't do much more than what's been done. It's pain tolerance. It's a question of mobility. It's a question of can he skate at the level in the NHL he needs to follow." (Damian Cristodero, St. Pete Times)
Boucher also went on the say that Ohlund's knees "...are worn down", and that he has not skated since mid-November. Considering the surgery on Ohlund's knees happened on October 11th, that seems to imply he's had a considerable setback on his recovery.
This unhappy news will likely have an impact on Lightning GM Steve Yzerman's midseason plans for the club. The Lightning are currently in fourth place in the Southeast Division with only 28 points, and they have little chance at making a run at the playoffs if their defense continues performing this poorly. Will he look to acquire a new defender or goalie? With Ohlund no closer to returning, Yzerman may have to make a decision sooner rather than later.
For more on this news, drop by SB Nation's blog on the Lightning, Raw Charge.