Saturday, September 22, 2018
  • Lightning Strikes

Can we talk for a second about Andrei Vasilevskiy’s ridiculous behind-the-back save?

"Definitely one of the best saves I've ever seen live," Lightning captain Steven Stamkos raved.

Bolts coach John Cooper said he was "in awe."

Can you blame them?

It's a save so ridiculous, it was hard for Saturday night's sellout Amalie Arena crowd to process the brilliance in real time. Check out the slow motion replay. How in the world did Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy stop this puck?

Not even Vasilevskiy had the answers.

"He said he didn't see anything on the save on Kopitar," The Times' Joe Smith wrote in his recap of the Lightning's 4-3 win over the Kings Saturday night. "He just caught a glimpse of the forward's stick at the last second and reached back with his glove."

It's like Vasilevskiy is a goaltending robot built by a more advanced civilization. He's wired with a "behind-the-back" feature, something not even the most brilliant 21st-century engineer could ever program.

Let's just get one more look at the save.

Truer words have never been tweeted, Arrogant Carrot. Andrei Vasilevskiy is a professional.

But not everyone was totally impressed by the save. Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar, the victim of the robbery, told Vasilevskiy after the game "to go buy a lottery ticket."

The Lightning netminder conceded some measure of luck may have been involved in the play.

Still, the behind-the-back blockbuster was just one of the 44 saves Vasilevskiy made Saturday night in a heroic overall performance. The Bolts goalie is so good, his teammates fear they're relying on him too much.

That may be true. But on Saturday night, Vasilevskiy was up to the task.