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Tampa Bay Lightning, already thin at defense, is holding its breath about Eric Brewer



What exactly happened to Eric Brewer? No one at the Lightning is saying except that he has an upper-body injury and is day-to-day. The funny thing is, coach Guy Boucher said the injury did not happen at a practice or in a game. Brewer practiced Tuesday but not Wednesday.

General manager Steve Yzerman did not have many details either, but did say Brewer had an MRI exam on Wednesday.

"It's nothing serious we hope," he wrote in a text message. "Not sure if he'll be ready for tomorrow."

"We'll see (Thursday) morning," Boucher said. "I'm going to go to church and light a few candles."

Whatever happened, if the Lightning loses Brewer it will be a crushing blow for a defense that already is struggling and already is without Mattias Ohlund, who is out after arthroscopic surgery on both knees.

Brewer, 32, acquired last season at the trade deadline from the Blues, has been part of the top defensive pairing with Victor Hedman. He has an assist and six penalty minutes and is averaging 22:19 of ice time.

The Lightning has six other defensemen on the roster. In the short term, Bruno Gervais, who has been a healthy scratch in four of the Lightning's six games, would immediately be pressed into service.

In other practice news, Boucher said Mathieu Garon will start in net Thursday against the Islanders. No surprise with Dwayne Roloson struggling. 

[Last modified: Friday, November 18, 2011 12:28am]


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