Saturday, December 16, 2017
  • The Martin Chronicles
  • All things sports and beyond.

Now, About The Goaltender

Everywhere you turn when it comes to the Lightning these days, you're talking about something outstanding.

The team leads the NHL with eight wins and 17 points. Captain Steven Stamkos leads the league in scoring with 20 points. Nikita Kucherov leads the league with 11 goals. Both players have at least a point in all 10 Lighting games. The Lightning have the best power play in the league.

And then there is their most important player.

It's goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy, all 23 years of him, has been the real reason the Lightning are 8-1-1.

Vasilevskiy has been in the net for all those wins, leading the league. He has a 2.22 goals against and a .936 save percentage. Ove the last five games, he has allowed just five goals and owns a .970 save percentage. He is there when his team needs him.

Check out his save percentages these last five games: .966, .935, 1.000, .966, .969.

"We're playing really defensively, guys doing an amazing job in front of me," Vasilevskiy said. "It's all about the team. They're helping me. I'm helping them."

Vasilevskiy and his team stated slowly that opening weekend in a back-to-back with Florida, which included the Lightning's only regulation loss.

Vasilevskiy has been there ever since.

"You've seen it," Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman said. "How many goals has he given up the last five games? That just goes to show you defense is going to win games. But we're relying on him a little too much, to many grade-A scoring changes against. Obviously, he's been great."

"There's room for improvement for everyone," Vasilevskiy said. "It's all about consistency. I know we're not going to play our best game every night. Sometimes, they're going to score six goals. Some nights I need to be there. Some plays, I need to be there. I help them."

There's something about No. 88.

"If there's one thing, the kid does not quit," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "He's never out of a save. We're early into the season, but there are at least three or four already this year, where you say, 'Oh, that's in the net.' And then it's not. He defines battling. You can look at his physical stature, his athletic ability, his technique, all those things. But he's got that desire not to give them up, not get beaten."

The Lightning have their answer in goal No doubt. They just can't get too comfortable with that fact.

"You can't rely on your goaltender to bail you out every time," Hedman said.

Andre Vasilevskiy has won more games than any goalie.

He's not getting comfortable.

"So far. It's nice," he said. "That doesn't mean we can take a breath."

Comments
Florida State AD Stan Wilcox looking to hire Jimbo Fisher’s replacement ‘as quickly as we possibly can’

Florida State AD Stan Wilcox looking to hire Jimbo Fisher’s replacement ‘as quickly as we possibly can’

TALLAHASSEEWhat's the plan, Stan?Athletic director Stan Wilcox said Florida State is looking to quickly fill the football head coaching vacancy left by Jimbo Fisher bolting to Texas A&M on Friday."We're going to try to go as quickly as we possibly ca...
Published: 12/02/17
Where were you the day the Bucs won their first game?

Where were you the day the Bucs won their first game?

Forty years ago, Dec. 11, 1977, the historically hapless 0-26 Bucs beat the Saints in New Orleans for the first win in franchise history. It was one of those special moments in Tampa Bay sports history, a day and night worth retelling.Where were you?...
Updated one month ago
Greg Schiano consumed by firestorm in Knoxville

Greg Schiano consumed by firestorm in Knoxville

Jerry Sandusky is a monster who will spend the rest of his life behind walls.And then there is former Bucs coach Greg Schiano. How will he spend his days after being consumed by the firestorm that began when the University of Tennessee tried to hire ...
Updated one month ago

A mindless moment Quinton Flowers should regret

He had one of the great games. He has one of the great stories.USF senior quarterback Quinton Flowers took attention away from both those things with what appeared to be an obscene gesture after scoring a touchdown in the third quarter of his astound...
Updated one month ago
Meanwhile, at the Florida State head coaching job

Meanwhile, at the Florida State head coaching job

Florida State, which is trying to save its bowl hopes with a late rally, beat up on Florida on Saturday at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, 38-22, and made history in the process. It marks the first time in Seminoles football history that they've beaten the...
Updated one month ago
Losing Chip Kelly, and maybe Scott Frost,  might not be a knock on Florida

Losing Chip Kelly, and maybe Scott Frost, might not be a knock on Florida

GAINESVILLE The win Florida needs had nothing to do with trying to beat Florida State on Saturday. The win Florida needs can still happen, even without the great Oz, Chip Kelly, behind the curtain. Maybe even without Scott Frost. I might have been ...
Updated one month ago
The biggest game in USF history. Period.

The biggest game in USF history. Period.

The biggest game in USF football history.It's seven days and 90 miles away. USF at UCF. Next Friday at UCF's ON-CAMPUS stadium. The 9-1 Bulls against the perfect Knights, provided the perfect Knights stay perfect Saturday at Temple. It's the matchup ...
Updated one month ago