Today is a very special day here in the Hockey Paradise. As always, another day in the books brings us one day closer to the start of the 2014-15 Tampa Bay Lightning hockey season, but today is special for a different reason. Today is special because Lightning goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis turns another year older!
That’s right ladies and gentlemen; our young goaltender has gained another year.
The now 22 year old goaltender first became a member of the Lightning organization in 2013 when he was drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 5th round of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.
Last season, Gudlevskis suited up for just one game with the Lightning during the regular season, but the good news is it was a winner. In his one and only NHL game, he had a Goals Allowed Average of 2.00 and a Save Percentage of .947.
Unfortunately, the post season was not quite as successful; however, that is through no fault of Gudlevskis.
Now, he spent a good portion of last season with the Lightning’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch.
The six foot four inch tall Latvian goaltender suited up for 34 games with the Crunch, in which time he went 18-11-4 with a Goals Allowed Average of 2.68 and a Goals Allowed Average of .901.
On top of all that, he put on an incredibly memorable performance at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia where he defended the net for his native Latvia. In his most memorable performance of the games, he stopped 55 of 57 shots against the gold medal winners, Team Canada.
While we may not see him on the ice at the Tampa Bay Times Forum very much next season, I for one am excited to see what he can do between the pipes next season.
This has been a pretty busy week here in the Bolts Nation. I am starting to wonder just how much cake our boys have eaten this week. Hopefully it hasn’t affected their off-season training too much.
In all seriousness, we here at Bolts By The Bay would like to wish Lighting goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis a very Happy Birthday and look forward to seeing him next season, whether it be on the ice at the Tampa Bay Times Forum or with the Syracuse Crunch.
What are some of your favorite Gudlevskis moments from last season? What do you think he brings to the table next season? Let us know what you think in the comments below.