Tag:Mattias Ohlund
Posted on: February 20, 2012 10:04 am
Edited on: February 20, 2012 10:06 am

Mattias Ohlund to have major knee surgery

By: Adam Gretz

Mattias Ohlund hasn't played a game for the Tampa Bay Lightning this season, and it's looking as if it's going to be quite a while before he suits up for them, or any team, again.

If he's ever able to.

The veteran defenseman is going to undergo major surgery on his left knee at the Cleveland Clinic on Thursday according to Damian Cristodero of the Tampa Bay Times, and it's a procedure that could be the final chance to save his career.

More from the Times on the surgery, and what exactly is going to happen:
The complicated procedure performed by noted orthopedist Anthony Miniaci will use a thin layer of titanium to resurface the bottom of the femur behind the kneecap. That should create a cushion where cartilage that usually covers the bone has flaked off to such an extent there is painful bone-on-bone rubbing at the patellofemoral joint.

There is no guarantee the surgery will resurrect Ohlund's 14-season career. There is not even a timetable for rehab.

The 35-year-old defenseman signed a seven-year, $25.2 million contract with the Lightning prior to the 2009-10 season, and it's a deal that still has four years remaining on it. In his first two years with Tampa Bay he didn't score a single goal in 139 games, and hasn't scored one since April 7, 2009, when he was still a member of the Vancouver Canucks. That's a lengthy stretch for a player that used to score around nine or 10 per season. He did record 18 assists in his first two years with the Lightning, and also took on a pretty heavy defensive role that usually saw him logging ice time in situations that required him to focus almost entirely on defense over offense.

The Lightning have certainly missed him this season as they've been one of the worst defensive teams in the league, and Ohlund's absence has resulted in third-year rearguard Victor Hedman stepping into the big minutes that Ohlund had previously played.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: December 28, 2011 5:05 pm
Edited on: December 28, 2011 5:21 pm

What happened to the Tampa Bay Lightning?

Pucks and Numbers:
a weekly statistical look at what's happening around the NHL. This week: A look what has gone wrong for the Tampa Bay Lightning.

By: Adam Gretz

It was less than a year ago that the Tampa Bay Lightning were a 1-0 loss to the Boston Bruins in Game 7 from representing the Eastern Conference in the Stanley Cup Finals. Thirty-five games into the 2011-12 season and Tampa Bay finds itself in 13th place in the conference, six points out of the eighth and final playoff spot. As we talked about last week, that's already a deficit that is dangerously close to being too much to overcome at this point in the season, especially with five teams ahead of them for the last playoff spot.

So what has changed for Guy Boucher's team in a span of eight months, going from potential Stanley Cup team to what is currently one of the worst teams in the league?

The easy answer is goaltending, as the duo of Dwayne Roloson and Mathieu Garon has been dreadful, currently owning the second-worst team save percentage in the league, barely ahead of the Columbus Blue Jackets for the 30th spot. The position was a major problem in the early part of last season as well, and it was covered up with a short-term band-aid thanks to general manager Steve Yzerman's New Years Day trade that landed Roloson from the New York Islanders. He ended up getting hot at the right time and helped lead the Lightning through the first two rounds of the playoffs as the team upset Pittsburgh and Washington, overcoming a 3-1 series deficit against the former, and sweeping the latter in four straight games.

Entering this season the Lightning decided to stick with the 42-year-old Roloson, a risky maneuver given his age and the number of miles that were already on the tires. So far, it hasn't worked out.

While the Lightning have become synonymous with their 1-3-1 neutral zone trap and have faced their share of criticism for playing such a "boring" system (no, we haven't forgotten about this), the team has given up a ton of goals over the past season-and-a-half. A lot of that has to do with the bad goaltending, as the Lightning do a pretty good job limiting the number of shots taken by the opposition (though, they are worse in that area this season). Still, they were 21th in the NHL in terms of goals allowed last season, and after 35 games this season are 27th.

There are a couple of things working against the Lightning this season.

While the team has young Stars in Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman, and great veteran players like Martin St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier, it also has some older parts that, obviously, are now a year older than they were a year ago. Even worse, they've also been without defenseman Mattias Ohlund for the entire season, a player that handled some of the toughest minutes and assignments last season. He didn't provide any offense, but he was the go-to guy in terms of defensive assignments. His absence has not only impacted the overall depth on the team's blue line, but also forced Hedman and Eric Brewer into playing all of the tough assignments that Ohlund would have ordinarily handled.

And, of course, there is more.

Let's just look at some numbers through the first 35 games of the past two seasons:

Tampa Bay Lightning 2011-12 vs. 2010-11 Through 35 Games
Year W-L-OTL Goals For Goals Against Shots For/Game Shots All. Game PP Goals PP OPP PP %
2011-12 15-17-3 95 117 28.8 30.6 18 123 14.6%
2010-11 20-10-5 109 114 32.5 27.1 35 149 23.0%

So here we are. Lightning beat writer Erik Erlendsson has been pointing out over the past week on Twitter that the Lightning have given up nearly the same number of goals this season as they did through the same number of games last season. And he's right. But that's not necessarily a good thing because the number is way too high. And again, the Lightning had a trade in their back pocket on Jan. 1 last season that enabled the team to improve that area as the season went on. Roloson wasn't great, but he was good enough and enough of an upgrade over the alternative. He also hit the aforementioned hot streak at the right time. If the Lightning hadn't made that trade there's a good chance that playoff run never happens. Yzerman is going to need to pull off a similar move (or perhaps a bigger one, involving more of a long-term solution that isn't a player over the age of 40) to help get Tampa Bay back where it wants to be (and needs to be) in the crease if a return to the playoffs is in the team's future.

But while the goals against are nearly identical, there's a pretty large difference from one year to the next that sticks out like a sore thumb: the power play.

Both the number of power play opportunities and the frequency in which they've been able to score on the man advantage. The Lightning didn't win many games last season by keeping their opponents off the scoreboard, they won a lot of games by outscoring them in some of the highest scoring games in the league. A lot of that was the result of a power play that was pretty much unstoppable when it was on top of its game.

A year ago Tampa Bay had the sixth-best power play in the league, converting on 20 percent of its chances. This season? 25th. And even worse, it's a unit that's not generating a ton of shots when it does get an opportunity.

It's been a perfect storm for Tampa Bay this season. Some aging players, bad goaltending, the absence of the best and most reliable defensive defenseman on the team and a power play that's regressed. Basically, a little bit of everything.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: October 10, 2011 3:53 pm
Edited on: October 10, 2011 4:18 pm

Ohlund could miss 4-6 weeks following surgery

By: Adam Gretz

Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Mattias Ohlund opened the season on injured reserve due to a knee injury, and according to multiple reports, is set to have both knees scoped and could miss the next four-to-six weeks.

Ohlund, 35, joined the Lightning prior to the 2009-10 season when he signed a seven-year, $25 million contract.

Two years in and it's looking to be a disappointing investment for Tampa Bay, at least from an offensive perspective, as his production has steadily decreased over the past couple of years. Add in the combination of him turning 35 last month with the fact he needs to have some work done on both of his knees and it isn't exactly encouraging.

In his two years with the Lightning he's yet to score a goal in 139 games, while recording just 18 assists. By comparison, in his final year with Vancouver during the 2008-09 season, the year before he signed with the Lightning, he scored six goals and was credited with 19 assists, and had scored at least nine goals in each of the previous four seasons. One of the biggest differences in his role with the Lightning is that he's been seeing significantly less time on the power play in recent years, but overall there's still been a decline.

Going all the way back to the 2007-08 season and his point-per-game average has followed a steady downward trend: 2007-08 (.040), 2008-09 (.030), 2009-10 (.019), 2010-11 (.007).

Still, even with the decline to his offensive game it is a blow to Tampa Bay's lineup as he is still a very solid contributor defensively for the Lightning and was a valuable player during last year's playoff run to the Eastern Conference Finals. Lightning beat writer Erik Erlendsson insists this won't put the Lightning in the trade market for another defenseman and will instead move forward with the players they already have on the roster, including Victor Hedman, Eric Brewer, Pavel Kubina and Brett Clark.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com