5 Tampa Bay Lightning players who must bring their A-Game to maintain a top-three spot

The Tampa Bay Lightning find themselves back in the top-three of the Atlantic, but they need a few players to put their best game forward to maintain that spot.
Feb 10, 2024; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (91) celebrates his
Feb 10, 2024; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (91) celebrates his / Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports
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Andrei Vasilevskiy must keep returning his game to Vezina-contending levels

While the Lightning must find someone like Brandon Hagel to step up defensively, it also wouldn’t hurt them to trade for someone like a defenseman, a defensive-oriented forward, or even another goaltender. But unless a trade occurs, Andrei Vasilevskiy needs to take ownership of the net and rediscover the high level of play that turned him into such a great goaltender in the first place. 

Sure, he had a setback before the season began, which prevented him from making his season debut until November 24th, roughly a month-and-a-half into the year. And no, it’s never easy when your team isn’t playing well defensively, but Vasilevskiy is a former Vezina winner who also placed in the top six for the award for six years running. 

Therefore, it’s time for the 29-year-old to step up and make a few more saves, especially in close contests. To his credit, Vasilevskiy has allowed three or fewer goals in each of his last 10 games, scoring a 0.912 save percentage on 250 saves and 274 shots on goal. He’s also compiled an 8-2-0 record in that span.

So which version of Andrei Vasilevskiy will we see for the next two months? The player who has looked like he’s returned to his Vezina ways lately, or the one who compiled just a 9-9-0 record with an 0.895 save percentage between November 24th and January 6th?