Report: Hedman playing through lower-body injury, needs offseason surgery
If Victor Hedman hasn't looked like himself at times this season, there's a logical explanation as to why.
Johnston said Hedman's injury occurred on March 30 against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Here's a look at the play in question:
The Lightning held Hedman out of Saturday's game against the Florida Panthers due to a lower-body injury. It was the first contest he's missed all season. Johnston noted the 30-year-old Swede does plan to play in the postseason.
Hedman ranks third among NHL blue-liners with 45 points in 54 games, but the Lightning's 51.3% expected goals percentage with him on the ice at five-on-five stands to be their worst such mark since 2012-13, according to Natural Stat Trick.
Tampa has been especially outplayed with Hedman on the ice at five-on-five since that March 30 contest, owning a 48.6% share of the expected goals and a 39% share of the high-danger scoring chances in that span.
Hedman has been a Norris Trophy finalist in each of the last four seasons, winning the award in 2017-18. He also won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP following the Lightning's Stanley Cup triumph last summer.