First of all, last seasons 5th place in goals against was almost entirely down to the play of Howard. The problems that afflict us this season are the same as last - the inability to get the puck out of the zone, and if we do we're often just chipping it off the glass and giving possession right back to the opposition. The brutal turnovers. The lack of composure when pressured by the forecheck. Quincey, Smith, and Kindl being particular culprits.
This struggling transition game is IMO the biggest flaw in our team play, and directly impacts our ability to generate offense. The struggles of Franzen and Weiss, the lack of Nyquist and Tatar, and injuries have obviously impacted our goal scoring, but I think we're pretty set now (or will be when Bert and Pav are back).
I mostly agree, but I don't think the transition struggles can be blamed solely on the defensemen. I think far too often the forwards do a poor job of supporting the defensemen on breakouts. Too much standing around waiting when they should be trying to create outlet options, finding gaps, or coming back to help battle for pucks.
But having only two good puck movers (and playing them together) on the back end does hurt.