Lightning notes from Worlds, including high praise for Vasilevskiy
Lightning goalie prospect Andrei Vasilevskiy may be in a backup role for Russia at the World Championship, but he's been turning heads in Minsk.
Vasilevskiy, 19, has stopped 66 of 67 shots over two games for undefeated Russia. He drew plenty of praise after his first Worlds start, making 37 of 38 saves in a 6-1 win over the United States.
One Russian Hall of Famer even brought up the name of Vladislav Tretiak, one of the best goalies of all-time.
“Tretiak also broke into the national championship and the national team when he was very young,” Olympic champion Alexander Pashkov told the IHF web site, iihfworlds2014.com. “Like him, Vasilevski has great natural ability and last season he was the strongest goalie in the KHL. You could also see this in the last two World Junior Championships. I’m sure he can become a world class player.”
No one is saying Vasilevskiy is the next Tretiak, the goaltender for those dominant Russian teams. But this tournament will no doubt be another confidence builder for him. The Lightning hasn't decided where he'll play next season, whether it's at AHL Syracuse, or whether he'll be able to compete for the backup job behind Ben Bishop.
In other Lightning news at the Worlds, center Tyler Johnson has been one of Team USA's most productive players, racking up seven points (four goals, three assists) in six games, including scoring twice in a must-win game against Finland.
Forward Richard Panik, however, has struggled, as he's a minus-4 in six games, with zero points and nine shots on goal. Defenseman Dmitri Korobov has an assist and is plus-1 for host Belarus.
Goalie Kristers Gudlevskis, who made his debut for the Lightning last season, has a 4.03 goals against average in three games for Latvia, giving up 12 goals in a 112 shots.
Goalie Jaroslav Janus has stopped 24 of 25 shots in one game for Slovakia.