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Lightning hope that defensive additions will help reverse fortunes

Aug 4, 2012, 8:16 PM EDT

Victor Hedman AP

Remember back in November when the Philadelphia Flyers and Tampa Bay Lightning entered into a controversy over the Lightning’s 1-3-1 defense? Well, it takes on a different flavor when you take a look at the results.

The Tampa Bay Lightning allowed 3.39 goals per game in 2011-12, which was by far the worst in the league. Part of the issue was their goaltending, which they began the process of rebuilding this summer by adding youngsters Anders Lindback and Riku Helenius. However, their defense also needed some work.

To that end, they signed Matt Carle and Sami Salo over the summer. Both of them are capable of playing big minutes and Carle in particular should do a good job of moving the puck up and making life a little easier for the Lightning’s talented scorers. Carle might also help the Lightning with the man advantage, which is another area they were weak in last season.

They will probably join Victor Hedman and Eric Brewer as the Lightning’s top-four defensemen. As things stand, Tampa Bay now has eight blueliners signed to one-way contracts, and a couple others, like Keith Aulie and Matt Taormina, who have NHL potential.

That should provide them with the extra depth necessary to cope with the injuries that occur during a long season. Given that only two of their defensemen played in more than 61 games last season, it might be their added depth that proves to be the difference in 2012-13.

  1. phillyphever - Aug 4, 2012 at 9:32 PM

    If they’re expecting Carle to help them on defense, I got two words for Lightning fans: good luck. He can’t defend his way out of a paper bag. Oh, and have fun enjoying his turnovers. I hear they usually result in goals for the other team.

    • windmiller4 - Aug 5, 2012 at 1:40 AM

      I though mr universe resulted in goals for the other team?

    • jaybertx - Aug 5, 2012 at 9:20 AM

      That’s not all Carle’s fault, pretty much every turnover turned into a goal against Bryz.

    • lsxphotog - Aug 5, 2012 at 9:36 AM

      Says the bitter Flyers fan who realizes his team is going to have extremely terrible defense next season and couldn’t ink Carle to stay.

      • phillyphever - Aug 5, 2012 at 10:34 AM

        Oh child please, that contract’s gonna be an anchor in 2 years. I’m glad we didn’t resign him. Saved me 6 years of saying “WTF Carle!!!!”

  2. bruin63 - Aug 4, 2012 at 11:05 PM

    agreed. bad defender with not so proven goaltender equals 14th in conference. they do have great offense so a chance remains for the bolts but not cup contenders.

  3. chubbedjox - Aug 5, 2012 at 1:08 AM

    Its so obvious that ryan malone hasnt done ANYTHING since he left The Franchise to go hibernate in Florida….what a shame, the boy has talent that nobody in that lousy team can take advantage of. If he was smart, he would get on his hands & knees and beg Shero to come back to play with the greatest playmaker to ever tie on a pair of blades, soup can sid!

  4. pkswally024 - Aug 5, 2012 at 10:50 AM

    I highly doubt there are any flyers fans who wished we resigned Carle, especially to that kind of deal. Good luck.

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