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)

Tampa Bay Lightning's Mattias Ohlund won't make excuses for bad 2009-10

Lightning defenseman Mattias Ohlund, stretching at a workout in Brandon this week, says he has high demands for himself.

DIRK SHADD | Times

Lightning defenseman Mattias Ohlund, stretching at a workout in Brandon this week, says he has high demands for himself.

BRANDON — Mattias Ohlund did not want to hear any excuses.

He did not want to hear how injuries last season to both ankles and his right knee slowed him. And he really did not want to hear that he was being too hard on himself.

"I just didn't have a good year," the Lightning defenseman said Wednesday at the Ice Sports Forum. "It doesn't matter how you put it. I can't sugarcoat it. I didn't have a good year."

Plenty of Tampa Bay players had bad years. Ohlund, though, was the team's marquee free agent acquisition in July 2009, signing a seven-year, $25.25 million deal to be a defensive anchor with an offensive sensibility and a locker room presence.

But Ohlund, 34, who averaged a team-high 22:49 of ice time in 67 games, believes he was slow defensively. He had a career-low 13 points and for the first time in the NHL did not score a goal.

As opposed to 11 previous seasons with the Canucks, Ohlund got little power-play time. And though new coach Guy Boucher said Ohlund might have been uncomfortable used as a defensive specialist rather than an all-around player in the previous staff's system, Ohlund said that is another excuse he is not willing to make. "I know I have a lot more offensive ability than to score zero goals," he said.

Boucher said it remains to be seen how much power-play time Ohlund gets this season, but he knows the 6-foot-4, 225-pounder "will be one of my leaders."

"He's still got a lot to offer," Boucher said. "He hits like a train. His positional play is great, and now I think he's more comfortable coming in and knowing what to expect."

Ohlund said his ankle sprains that at times had him in a walking boot have healed, and he had a minor arthroscopic procedure over the summer to fix cartilage damage in his knee.

"It's a new year," he said. "I have high demands. I know I can play better."

If that's the case, Mike Lundin can't wait to see it.

"He just takes control of the game," Ohlund's defensive partner said. "He's always there to cover for you or read the ice and tell you what to do, not just his D partner but the forwards, the goalie. He controls the game with his presence. I thought he was just awesome last year."

Ohlund probably doesn't want to hear that, either.

Tampa Bay Lightning's Mattias Ohlund won't make excuses for bad 2009-10 09/15/10 [Last modified: Thursday, September 16, 2010 8:10am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. College World Series: Gators, LSU face off in all-SEC finals

    College

    OMAHA, Neb. — The matchup for the College World Series finals bolsters the case for those who say the best baseball in the land is played in the SEC.

    Florida’s Brady Singer, delivering during a CWS win over Louisville last week, is scheduled to start tonight against LSU.
  2. Jones: Fox Sports Sun shows depth in Rays coverage

    TV and Radio

    tom jones' two cents

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.

    Best coverage

    Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) makes a run home for a score in the in the final game of a three-game series between the Tampa Bay Rays and AL East rival the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, June 25, 2017.
  3. Brian Boyle says returning to Lightning a 'huge option'

    Blogs

    As former Lightning forward Brian Boyle approaches free agency this week, he said he's trying to stay busy.

  4. Rays journal: Blake Snell to rejoin rotation, Erasmo Ramirez heads to bullpen

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — LHP Blake Snell is rejoining the Rays' rotation, but the move has as much to do with helping the bullpen as it does with Snell's improvement during his time at Triple-A Durham.

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Erasmo Ramirez (30) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds Wednesday, June 21, 2017 in St. Petersburg.
  5. Rays' bullpen stars lit up in loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday it was the soft underbelly of the bullpen that let one get away from the Rays, incurring the wrath of the team's faithful followers, who wondered why the high-leverage guys weren't pitching.

    Rays closer Alex Colome, coming in with the score tied in the ninth, allows three runs in his second straight poor outing.