Make us your home page

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

Defenseman Eric Brewer makes rapid adjustments since joining Tampa Bay Lightning

Defenseman Eric Brewer has one goal in 11 games with Tampa Bay after coming over from St. Louis last month.

Getty Images

Defenseman Eric Brewer has one goal in 11 games with Tampa Bay after coming over from St. Louis last month.

SUNRISE — Defenseman Eric Brewer is starting to feel more at home with the Lightning in more ways than one.

Brewer, 31, the former Blues captain acquired via trade in mid February, recently rented an apartment in Tampa, with his family — including 3-year-old daughter, Reese, and baby girl, Hadley — joining him this past week.

"It's made it way easier," Brewer said.

And on the ice, Brewer is fitting well with his new team, anchoring the top defensive pairing. Though the Lightning is in a rough stretch, having won just one game in its last seven heading into tonight's game in Toronto, coach Guy Boucher said its defense has "been at its best," with Brewer a big reason why.

"He's our best defenseman, there's no doubt about it," Boucher said. "He's great one-on-one, he's got speed, he can bring the puck up, he's got a good shot, got good leadership. He's a solid individual off the ice. Honestly, I can't ask for better. That's what I asked for and I didn't think I'd get it, and we got it."

Brewer had to make some adjustments in joining the Lightning, getting used to Boucher's unique system, as well as acclimating himself with opponents in the Eastern Conference. But he said it has helped a lot being paired with veteran defenseman Mattias Ohlund, who has talked him through different situations. Brewer, acquired for a third-round pick and defense prospect Brock Beukeboom, is plus-1 with a goal in 11 games with Tampa Bay, logging at least 21 minutes in six.

"I think I understand for the most part what they want to do and how they go about doing it," Brewer said. "The positioning of the forwards, is a little bit different, so I'm getting used to that, and some of the plays that aren't routine aren't with another team. But it's been much better."

While Brewer, who spent more than five seasons with the Blues, is used to being in a leadership position, with veterans such as Marty St. Louis and Vinny Lecavalier on board, there's going to be a feeling-out process.

"I think everyone has their own personality, and I'm just kind of seeing how things operate here and see if I can help out with that," Brewer said. "I'm certainly not trying to force anything, but trying to compliment all the good things the guys do here."

Brewer is excited about experiencing a playoff run, having not played in the postseason since 2003 with the Oilers (he was out after back surgery when the Blues made it in 2008-09).

"It's good," he said. "It's been a long time since I've been on this side of the race."

STICK IT OUT: Center Steven Stamkos required some dental work after Saturday night's 4-3 loss, getting caps on two teeth after a high-stick by Florida defenseman Jason Garrison put a hole through his mouth guard. Though Stamkos will need more extensive work for his chipped teeth, he didn't plan on visiting any family dentist in the trip to Toronto, near his hometown, instead waiting until next week when the team returns to Tampa.

Stamkos smiled, "I'd rather be eating dinner at home than going to the dentist."

Joe Smith can be reached at [email protected]

Defenseman Eric Brewer makes rapid adjustments since joining Tampa Bay Lightning 03/13/11 [Last modified: Sunday, March 13, 2011 9:55pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Cubs down Dodgers 3-2; force NLCS Game 5 Thursday


    CHICAGO — Javier Baez snapped an 0-for-20 skid with two home runs, former Ray Wade Davis hung on for a six-out save and the Cubs avoided a sweep, holding off the Dodgers 3-2 Wednesday night in Game 4 of the NL Championship Series.

  2. Bucs' Vernon Hargreaves: 'I'm not making any plays'


    TAMPA — Eli Manning gathered his receivers together on the sideline during the Giants' Week 4 game against the Bucs and told them he planned to target the weakest link of the secondary all afternoon.

    Patriots receiver Chris Hogan gets position in front of Bucs cornerback Vernon Hargreaves for a 5-yard touchdown pass in New England’s win on Oct. 5.
  3. Lightning's J.T. Brown to stop anthem protest, focus on community involvement

    Lightning Strikes

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Lightning wing J.T. Brown will no longer raise his first as a protest during the national anthem before games.

    J.T. Brown says he will work more with the Tampa police and groups that serve at-risk young people.
  4. Signs point to Jameis Winston dressing vs. Bills


    TAMPA — The Bucs didn't sign another quarterback Wednesday, which would suggest they are confident that Jameis Winston can be active as a backup to Ryan Fitzpatrick on Sunday at Buffalo if he doesn't start.

  5. FSU doesn't feel need for ongoing reminder of last year's beatdown at Louisville


    Of course Florida State remembers what happened against Louisville last year. The 63-20 loss was one of the worst defeats in Seminoles history.

    Louisville's Lamar Jackson looks back at the action from the sidelines during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Murray State, Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)