Tampa Bay Lightning Report Cards: The Defense

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#2 Eric Brewer

My 2013/2014 Forecast: 15-20 points, finishes season as 5th/6th defenseman, reduced minutes (>20 per game), possibly traded on deadline day.

GP: 77  G: 4  A: 13  Pts: 17  +/-: 10  PIM: 59

 

Mar 19, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Eric Brewer (2) skates with the puck against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre. The Lightning beat the Maple Leafs 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Brewer’s season went pretty much as expected. He played reduced minutes and thrived in the role, providing solid play on the third pairing. Offensively, Brewer has the ability to surprise us once in a while, which has earned him the nickname “Brew-Orr.” The Lightning slapped an A on Brewer’s chest after Martin St. Louis’ departure, which is a good indication of what the organization thinks of him.

The key to Brewer’s success is in his reduced minutes. Brewer averaged 17:33 in icetime this year, as opposed to last year, when he averaged 20:31. Just a solid season from a guy who provides depth.

Season Grade: B

Looking Ahead: While the Lightning are in no hurry to get rid of Brewer, his contract, heading into the 2014/2015 season, could become a concern. Particularly if the Lightning do in fact resign Ryan Callahan. My guess is the Bolts will figure out a way to make it work and bring Brewer back for the final year of his deal.  However, with defense prospects about to start banging on the NHL door, I believe next season will be Brewer’s last in Tampa. His experience will come in handy in this year’s playoffs.

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