Why Lightning Fans Should Not be Worried About Andrei Vasilevskiy
It is easy for fans around the NHL to get initially startled by the performance Andrei Vasilevskiy had for the Tampa Bay Lightning in its playoff series against the Toronto Maple Leafs. In the Bolts first round exit, the star goaltender finished with a save percentage of .875 and allowed an average of 3.56 goals a game.
Other concerns arose just prior to the playoffs late in the season when it was rumored that he was playing through “minor injuries.” The way he was putting it, his head and body at times were not on the same page. This odd predicament could easily have contributed to Vasilevskiy’s under-whelming play against Toronto in a taxing series that nearly went the distance.
#GoBolts Andrei Vasilevskiy says that at some points of the season after game 35, his head and body weren’t on the same page.
Pushing too hard and ignoring small injuries. pic.twitter.com/foJaoFTJ6r
— Kasey Hudson (@TheSportsKase) May 2, 2023
Tampa Bay Lightning: Cats always land on their feet
Despite this, there is little for Lightning fans to be concerned with about their center piece in between the pipes. The 2022-23 regular season was a great one for Vasilevskiy as he finished with his second-highest season save total (1,716) while playing in 60 games (third-highest amount in a single season for his career). This shows that even in year nine of his career, he was still very efficient. He was also top five in the league among goaltenders for shutouts this season with 4.
The best part of this whole thing is how young the Lightning veteran still is. He is only 28 years old and has plenty of time left in his career. His save percentage did take a dip, however, he is still keeping above .900 at .915 this past season. If the Tampa Bay vet is doing this almost a decade into his career, Bolts fans have little to fear over their future in net.
Since the salary cap is such a hot topic for the Lightning, fans also wonder about his future with the team financially. But, he is signed with Tampa Bay through 2028 on a 8-year, $76 million deal he signed back in 2020 in the midst of their back-to-back Stanley Cups.
Vasilevskiy is here to stay and the Lightning will have little to worry about their in-net situation for years to come.