×

Bolts' Stralman Will Be Sorely Missed

Posted by Webster Washington on 3/30/2016 3:28:06 AM

On Friday, the Tampa Bay Lightning lost stalwart defenseman Anton Stralman, who suffered a broken fibula. The next day they took a crushing 5-2 home defeat at the hands of Atlantic Division rival Florida. There may not have been a direct correlation between the two events; the Lightning bounced back the next game to score a victory over lowly Toronto. But there are definite concerns that the absence of Stralman will have a dire effect on the remaining games for Tampa Bay.

The Power Of a Defenseman

Can one defensive player mean so much to the success of a hockey team? Apparently the Lightning think so. They tried desperately to add an extra defenseman before the trade deadline in order to prevent this very gap. Stralman has been a huge part of the Bolts defense, and crucial to their special teams. For the past four playoff years he has played in more than 80 postseason games. This year Stralman has contributed 34 points and has a plus/minus of 16, second best on the team.

''He's such a huge part of our club,'' center Brian Boyle said. ''The way he plays, the way he is here inside the (locker) room. It's a loss, we understand that, but we can't dwell on it."

The Lightning's follow-up victory over Toronto was a 3-0 shutout, credited to goalie Ben Bishop, who, along with defenseman Victor Hedman, will be the men they will now turn to for key efforts at that end of the ice. With Stralman, the three were key elements in the Lightning run to the Stanley Cup finals last season. Now Tampa Bay will be counting the days, hoping that Stralman will be back before their season concludes.

Playoffs And Beyond

The fibula fracture will be tough to recover from. Stralman is listed as out indefinitely. With 93 points and six games remaining, the Lightning should secure a playoff spot. But with three other Eastern Conference teams within two points of them, it is hard to say how they will be paired. And they've had injuries on the offensive end lately, with Ryan Callahan missing the last five games and Nikita Kucherov out against Toronto. All told, the Lightning's chances of making another Cup run are surely diminished.

Archives

TOP PROMOTIONS See All Promotions

25% Bonus For Life

Whenever your account is running on empty, use promo code FORLIFE when you make a qualifying deposit of $50 or more to earn a 25% Sportsbook Bonus. To get the most bang-for-your-buck, you can get up to $1,000 worth of free plays on every qualifying reload 24/7/365.

Mobile Betting $50 Free Play

Haven't tried mobile betting yet? Now is the time to try. Receive up to a $50.00 free play when you place your first-ever Mobile sports bet. All you have to do is place a sports bet from your smartphone or tablet. If your bet wins, congratulations: you are already scoring a profit from Mobile betting! However, if your bet loses, we’ll reimburse your bet with up to a $50.00 free play. You've got nothing to lose - literally - so take advantage of the offer today!

$25 Free Live In-Game Betting

Ever miss a kick-off or lay off a winning pick? Everyone has. With our cutting edge Live In-Game Betting platform, you can get in the action as it unfolds in real-time. Try it out risk-free now. For a limited time, we give you a free $25 bet* if your first bet using our new Live In-Game Betting platform is not a winner.