Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Consistent Lightning's J.T. Brown on offensive roll

Wing J.T. Brown enjoys his fourth goal in seven games during Friday’s win over Nashville. He scored on his own rebound in the second period.

DIRK SHADD | Times

Wing J.T. Brown enjoys his fourth goal in seven games during Friday’s win over Nashville. He scored on his own rebound in the second period.

TAMPA — Maybe it was the mental break.

Maybe it was the beach.

Or, perhaps, J.T. Brown is just finally getting rewarded.

But Brown, 25, has been on a roll, racking up three goals in the five games since the All-Star break, when he and a few teammates took a trip to Mexico.

"He keeps joking, 'We've got to get back to Cancun every day off,' " center Tyler Johnson said, laughing.

The results are new, Brown's four goals in seven games giving him a career-high of seven, equaling his past two seasons combined. And with 17 points he's within two of his career high. But you can argue that Brown has been the Lightning's most consistent forward, his plus-13 second on the team to Vladislav Namestnikov (plus-16) heading into today's game against the Blues at Amalie Arena.

"He deserves everything he's getting," coach Jon Cooper said. "You can't ask for more effort and tenacity that kid is giving us now. It's paying off by the points he's getting for us. They're all richly deserved. That kid has been working his tail off."

The Lightning's play has fluctuated throughout this up-and-down season but Brown has brought the same energy and two-way play. Take Monday's 5-1 loss in Ottawa, a clunker and "mailed-in effort," as center Brian Boyle called it. Brown had the team's only goal with five shots.

"We walked out of there saying, 'Okay, who played well?' " associate coach Rick Bowness said. "Well there was one guy and it was Brownie."

That goal came in front of the net, Brown redirecting Braydon Coburn's point shot before backhanding in the rebound. Friday, Brown tied the score in the second period with a second effort in front, putting in his own rebound during a 4-3 overtime win over Nashville.

Even with just a 5-foot-10, 175-pound frame, Brown isn't afraid to go to the dirty areas — maybe that's a trait from his father Ted, a former NFL running back.

"I've said this a few times, sometimes it doesn't work for you," Brown said. "It's just happening to be good on the timing right now. And over the last few ones, it's a matter of inches where it goes in or it hits the post and goes out or the goalie makes the save. Right now, I'm just going to keep going with it."

Brown, a staple on the shutdown third line with Valtteri Filppula and Ryan Callahan, has been rewarded with more ice time, especially late in games. And the timing of Brown's impactful play is also good as he is a restricted free agent after the season.

"He's a guy that you love to see succeed because he battles so hard night in and night out," Johnson said. "I just love watching him play. For him to get rewarded like this, and be on the roll the way he is, I can't be happier for the guy. It's awesome."

Contact Joe Smith at joesmith@tampabay.com. Follow @TBTimes_JSmith.

Consistent Lightning's J.T. Brown on offensive roll 02/13/16 [Last modified: Saturday, February 13, 2016 9:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. USF defense feeds on Temple offense to take NCAA interceptions lead

    College

    TAMPA — Backed up in his end zone, Temple quarterback Logan Marchi scrambled, trying to elude a USF defensive end coming straight for him. Until then, Marchi hadn't had much luck hitting his receivers.

    South Florida Bulls safety Devin Abraham (20) sacks Temple Owls quarterback Logan Marchi (12) during the first half at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida on Thursday, September 21, 2017.
  2. No. 21 USF Bulls roll over Temple to stay undefeated

    College

    TAMPA — They emerged from Raymond James Stadium's southwest tunnel on the 11-month anniversary of their public humiliation at Temple.

    Bulls tailback Darius Tice, who rushes for 117 yards, is elated by his 47-yard run for a touchdown in the second quarter for a 10-0 lead.
  3. Fennelly: USF thrashes Temple to stay unbeaten; too bad not many saw it in person

    College

    TAMPA

    No. 21 USF ran its record to 4-0 Thursday night with some payback against Temple, a 43-7 trouncing, no contest, as if anyone cares, at least judging by the paltry crowd at Raymond James Stadium. Where was everybody?

    Bulls cornerback Deatrick Nichols (3) celebrates with teammates after making a defensive play during the first half.
  4. Former Ray Tim Beckham's over being traded, or is he?

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — As the Rays reunited Thursday with Tim Beckham for the first time since he was dealt July 31 to Baltimore, it became very clear that not everything in assessing the trade is as it appears.

    Tim Beckham, here in action Monday against the Red Sox, has hit .310, with 10 homers and 26 RBIs since going to the Orioles.
  5. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Thursday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    The Rays still talk about having a shot to make the playoffs. But recognizing and correcting mistakes will help them next year, such as Mallex Smith trying to steal third in the first. "Those are the little things we've got to find how to eliminate real quick," manager Kevin Cash said.