Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning journal: Louis Domingue makes debut in goal

DETROIT — G Andrei Vasilevskiy got a rare night off Sunday, with backup Louis Domingue making his Lightning debut.

It was a welcomed breather for Vasilevskiy, 23, who has started 34 of the team’s first 41 games, putting him on pace for 68.

Vasilevskiy has handled the workload well, leading the league in wins, goals against average, save percentage and shutouts. But some have wondered whether this pace is too much for Vasilevskiy to his first full season as No. 1.

Vasilevskiy’s workload actually isn’t much different than most No. 1s in the league, with three goalies starting more — Calgary’s Mike Smith, Toronto’s Frederik Andersen and New York’s Henrik Lundqvist all starting 35. Vasilevskiy is tied with the Kings’ Jonathan Quick and Columbus’ Sergei Bobrovsky at 34. Former Lightning G Ben Bishop has started 33 with the Stars.

Coach Jon Cooper is comfortable with Vasilevskiy’s schedule, noting Bishop started 63, 62 and 61 games in his three full seasons as No. 1 with Tampa Bay.

"I’m extremely comfortable," Cooper said. "You look at goaltenders in this league and the shape they’re in. Nobody is really breaking down because they’re out of shape. These guys want to play. Especially if you think about our five-day break (bye week) is coming up in five days (Jan. 12-16).

"We manage his games, the amount of games he plays. But he’s feeling in good shape. And if he ends up getting in the 60s, it’s no different than what (Bishop) got when he was with us. He can more than handle that."

Vasilevskiy has said he has altered his between-starts routine so he can stay fresh, which means maybe less time in the gym, or taking some optional skates off.

Goalie coach Frantz Jean cited Vasilevskiy’s work ethic and maturity, noting he "doesn’t burn the candle at both ends."

And Vasilevskiy welcomes the chance to play this much.

"I’m young," he has said. "I can handle it."

Lining up

For the second straight game, the Lightning tweaked its lineup defensively. D Jake Dotchin was a healthy scratch, with D Braydon Coburn back in. D Slater Koekkoek, who had a goal and four shots in 15-plus minutes Saturday, was in the lineup again, joined by D Andrej Sustr as Tampa Bay went with seven defensemen. Cory Conacher and J.T. Brown were scratched.

More from ‘D’

The Lightning’s blueline continued its impressive production Sunday, with G Dan Girardi scoring the team’s first goal and assisting on the second. Tampa Bay entered Sunday with 100 points in its first 41 games, the second fastest it has completed that feat in franchise history (37 games in 1992-93), according to STATS. Girardi’s was the 28th goal by a Lightning defenseman this season (46 was the franchise record in 1992-93).

Nuts and Bolts

The Lightning continued to have turnover issues, especially early in the second. Tampa Bay had a combined 27 giveaways in back-to-back losses Thursday and Saturday. "When we turn pucks over, we’re an easy team to play against," captain Steven Stamkos said. … F Yanni Gourde had his first Gordie Howe hat trick Sunday (goal, assist, fight), holding his own against F Tomas Tatar. … Rookie D Mikhail Sergachev entered Sunday a combined minus-5 the previous two games. His last minus before that was Nov. 25 against Pittsburgh (minus-1). …The Lightning improved to 2-4-1 in the second half of back-to-backs after losing its past three in regulation.

Joe Smith can be reached at [email protected]

Comments
Lightning’s Victor Hedman wins NHL’s Norris Trophy

Lightning’s Victor Hedman wins NHL’s Norris Trophy

Victor Hedman, a relentless part of the Lightning's push to the Eastern Conference final last season, was honored Wednesday night with the Norris Trophy, given to the NHL's top defenseman."To the Lightning organization, Mr. Jeff Vinik, Steve Yzerman ...
Updated: 29 minutes ago
Lightning announce home opener: Oct. 6 vs. Panthers

Lightning announce home opener: Oct. 6 vs. Panthers

The Tampa Bay Lightning will announce their full 2018-19 schedule on Thursday, but the league announced each home opener Wednesday, with Tampa Bay playing host to the Florida Panthers at Amalie Arena on Saturday, Oct. 6.The Lightning will know their ...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Norris Trophy could be good consolation for Lightning’s Victor Hedman

Norris Trophy could be good consolation for Lightning’s Victor Hedman

Victor Hedman is talking from a hotel room in Las Vegas and admits he's a little jet-lagged."Actually, very jet-lagged," Hedman says.That's what happens when you take a flight from Sweden to the party capital of the world.But he knows exactly what he...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/20/18
Mike Hoffman traded twice in wake of harassment, cyberbullying claims

Mike Hoffman traded twice in wake of harassment, cyberbullying claims

The Ottawa Senators traded winger Mike Hoffman on Tuesday, hoping to solve an ugly off-ice issue involving star defenseman Erik Karlsson and his wife. The Senators sent Hoffman to the San Jose Sharks, who then dealt him to the Florida Panthers. All t...
Published: 06/19/18
Salary-cap increase makes for ‘more fun’ NHL offseason

Salary-cap increase makes for ‘more fun’ NHL offseason

Thanks, Vegas. That’s what NHL general managers are saying this offseason after the Stanley Cup Final run of the expansion Golden Knights contributed to what’s expected to be a healthy increase for the salary cap. With elite center John Tavares, No. ...
Published: 06/19/18
Barry Trotz resigns as coach of Stanley Cup-winning Capitals

Barry Trotz resigns as coach of Stanley Cup-winning Capitals

Barry Trotz abruptly stepped down as coach of the Washington Capitals on Monday after failing to agree to terms on a new contract, a stunning move that left the newly minted Stanley Cup champions without a coach with the draft later this week and wit...
Published: 06/18/18
Lightning re-signs goaltender Eddie Pasquale to two-way deal

Lightning re-signs goaltender Eddie Pasquale to two-way deal

The Lightning re-signed goaltender Eddie Pasquale to a one-year, two-way contract general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.Pasquale, 27, split this past season between the Syracuse Crunch and Bakersfield Condors of the American Hockey League. He...
Published: 06/18/18
Lightning opens seven-game preseason schedule at home Sept. 18

Lightning opens seven-game preseason schedule at home Sept. 18

TAMPA — The Lightning will open its seven-game preseason schedule at home with a 7:30 p.m.  game Sept. 18 against the Carolina Hurricane, the team announced Thursday.That is one of three home games the Lightning will play in a preseason sc...
Published: 06/14/18
Lightning trades Peter Budaj to Kings, acquires forward Andy Andreoff

Lightning trades Peter Budaj to Kings, acquires forward Andy Andreoff

Sixteen months after acquiring Peter Budaj from the Kings, the Lightning today returned the veteran goaltender to Los Angeles.The Lightning traded Budaj for forward Andy Andreoff, general manager Steve Yzerman announced in a news release.Andreoff, 27...
Published: 06/13/18
Lightning set as early favorite to win the Stanley Cup in 2018-19

Lightning set as early favorite to win the Stanley Cup in 2018-19

This past season didn't end the way Lightning fans might have hoped, but that's no reason to lose hope.In fact, oddsmakers are more bullish on Tampa Bay than any team in the NHL for next season.According to at least one sports betting site, the ...
Published: 06/08/18