Lightning's massive changes aren't on defence

CURRENT LIGHTNING ROSTER

FORWARDS

Brandon Bochenski
Ryan Craig
Adam Hall
Jeff Halpern
Jussi Jokinen
Vincent Lecavalier
Ryan Malone
Michel Ouellet
Vaclav Prospal
Mark Recchi
Gary Roberts
Wyatt Smith
Martin St. Louis
Nick Tarnasky
Radim Vrbata
Jason Ward
Evgeny Artyhukin

DEFENCEMEN

Matthew Carle
Filip Kuba
Mike Lundin
Shane O'Brien
Alexandre Picard
Paul Ranger
Matt Smaby
Ty Wishart

GOALIES

Olaf Kolzig
Karri Ramo
Mike Smith

LAST YEAR'S LIGHTNING ROSTER

FORWARDS

Michel Ouellet
Jussi Jokinen
Jason Ward
Mathieu Darche
Martin St. Louis
Craig MacDonald
Ryan Craig
Andre Roy
Junior Lessard
Kyle Wanvig
Nick Tarnasky
Vincent Lecavalier
Jeff Halpern
Andreas Karlsson
Tim Taylor
Blair Jones
Chris Gratton

DEFENCEMEN

Alexandre Picard
Doug Janik
Dan Boyle
Matt Smaby
Brad Lukowich
Mike Lundin
Paul Ranger
Shane O'Brien
Filip Kuba

GOALIES

Marc Denis
Karri Ramo
Mike Smith

Insane additions by Tampa this summer. But 2 major questions will remain going in 2008-09:

1. How are the defence going to perform? There were no upgrades there at all. Remember, the Lightning's 267 goals against last season was 2nd-worst in the NHL. Their 227 goals for ranked them about 17th in the League. 23 of the 27 players were in the minus category. That is skewed a bit because Jeff Halpern came over late at the trade deadline in the Richards deal. Jussi Jokinen, also acquired in the Richards deal, finished in the minus category.

2. With the massive change in the forward lines, how will the chemistry be? That's the risk of buying a team. Maybe the addition of veterans like Gary Roberts and Mark Recchi will help with that.

The team will have to pull together defensively to cut back on the goals against, because Mike Smith and Olaf Kolzig can't do it all by themselves.

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