The Tampa Bay Lightning was dealt a massive blow this morning as the news broke that Bolts goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy would be sidelined with a foot injury.
The Tampa Bay Lightning has never been a stranger to injuries. In seasons past, the Lightning has been pushed to the point of losing more players to injury on any given night than those returning to the lineup. Unfortunately, in a full-contact sport like hockey, injuries are an unpleasant part of the game.
Regrettably, the Lightning received quite a blow this morning as they prepare to take on the Pittsburgh Penguins at the PPG Paints Arena in the Steel City. TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger reported this morning that Lightning netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy may have suffered a fractured left foot and will be out for “awhile.”
Much like everyone else here in the Bolts Nation, we soon found ourselves putting our fingers to the keys looking for some sort of confirmation regarding the injury. Regrettably, confirmation was not incredibly hard to find. Joe Smith, the Tampa Bay Lightning Beat Writer for The Athletic, confirmed the injury.
According to Tampa Bay Lightning Head Coach Jon Cooper, Vasilevskiy was injured in practice and is currently making his way to Tampa to be evaluated. Hopefully, the Lightning will be able to shed a little more light on the situation following the evaluation.
Andrei Vasilevskiy has been the backbone of the Lightning this season, standing guard between the pipes. Vasilevskiy is currently in second place in the NHL for Wins with a win/loss record of 9-3-1 through 13 games. Vasy is second only to Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen, who has 10 wins.
The 24-year-old goaltender is also in the Top 10 in the NHL in both Save Percentage and Goals Allowed Average. The Big Cat is in 9th place in Goals Allowed Average and in 10th place in Save Percentage.
While this is definitely not good news for the Tampa Bay Lightning, especially with the Lightning’s schedule over the course of the next week, it’s not exactly time to go into panic mode just yet. The Bolts have a solid backup goaltender in Louis Domingue.
The numbers are not exactly in his favor this season if you look at things in black and white. Domingue has a Save Percentage of .887 and a Goals Allowed Average of 3.43. One game, in particular, had a lot to do with these numbers. On October 27, the Lightning suffered a 7-1 loss at the hands of the Arizona Coyotes.
Despite the dismal image of the black and white, Domingue does have a winning record so far this season. Louis Domingue has gone 3-2-0 this season in the five games he’s played thus far.
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The next couple of games are definitely going to be a challenge for the 26-year-old goaltender. Tonight, the Bolts will take on the Pittsburgh Penguins. After this, the Bolts will head to the Wells Fargo Center to take on the Philadelphia Flyers. Then, the Lightning will finish off their road trip at the Bridgestone Arena to battle the top team in the Western Conference, the Nashville Predators.