16 December 2011
Mattias Ohlund hasn't played a game this season for the Lightning, and he may not play any for the rest of the season. Ohlund has both his knees undergo arthroscopic surgery early in the season and was expected to be out 1-2 months. It seems that even though the surgery was completed, both his knees are just worn down.
According to Cristodero who spoke with Boucher, the coach has been operating his team under the assumption that Ohlund wouldn't play:
"I've been doing that for a while; not because I didn't think he'd come back, but that's how I have to be as a coach. As a team, guys are not really waiting for him. We've accepted we've lost one of our top (defensemen) and other guys have to play against the top lines and log the minutes."
"It just hurts him a lot more than what he would have expected or the doctors would have expected," Boucher said. "It's â€¦ 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."Even though we as fans complain about his slow skating, Ohlund is still key to our defence. As we've seen over the last few weeks, our defence needs help. He played on the PK, blocked shots and laid out the occasional big hit or two. At 35 it becomes not just a question whether he can come back this season, but whether he will play at all?
With this coming at 31 games in and a possibility of no Ohlund this season, what's more important, an upgrade in goaltending or on defence?