1. Sports
  2. /
  3. Lightning

Lightning’s Andrei Vasilevskiy makes 200th career start

Vasilevskiy is the second Lightning goaltender to reach the milestone, and the youngest.
Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) seats his helmet in place during a break in play during the second period of the 2019-2020 NHL season home opener between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Florida Panthers on Thursday, October 3, 2019, in Tampa. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Tampa Bay Times]
Published Oct. 5
Updated Oct. 5

SUNRISE — Jon Cooper stopped Andrei Vasilevskiy on his way into the dressing room before the game.

“Hey, 200th start tonight,” he said. When the goaltender expressed confusion, the coach repeated it. Vasilevskiy pointed to himself. “Yeah, you,” Cooper said. Vasilevskiy gave a little nod and bigger smile.

In truth, neither one had known until a reporter asked Cooper about it. The milestone sneaked up on them. He’s only the second Lightning goalie to reach that mark, and the youngest. Ben Bishop did it in his seventh season, at age 29.

MORE LIGHTNING: Did you know Tyler Johnson studied anesthesiology?

“That’s a lot of starts for someone at a young age,” Cooper said. “You see a little bit later development for some of these players as they mature at an older age.”

He pointed out you can hide a forward, less so a defenseman and definitely not a goalie, as why goalies tend to develop later. Cooper credited Vasilevskiy’s talent and work ethic. He’d would know, he’s coached Vasilevskiy his whole career, starting as a callup, then a backup, then the secondary in a split-crease and finally the full-time starter.

“There’s a reason they call him the Big Cat,” Cooper said. “He moves like a cat and he has the reflexes and he has the size. It’s a lethal combination.”

MORE LIGHTNING: Don't miss a thing. Subscribe using promo code GOBOLTS to get three months of unlimited digital access for $14


  1. Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Luke Schenn (2) celebrates his goal, the first of the game, along with right wing Nikita Kucherov (86), defenseman Mikhail Sergachev (98) and center Tyler Johnson (9) beating New York Rangers goaltender Alexandar Georgiev (40) during first period action at Amalie Arena on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019 in Tampa. DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Lightning 9, Rangers 3: Tampa Bay posts its highest-scoring game of the last two seasons.
  2. Pictured from the center ice display, LT Robert McClintock, 101 years old, from the US Army Air Corps (Ret.), performs the National Anthem along with USAF Technical Sergeant (Ret.) Sonya Bryson (not pictured) before the Tampa Bay Lightning take on the New York Rangers on Military Appreciation Night at Amalie Arena on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019 in Tampa.  DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The Lightning brought back Robert McClintock to join Sonja Bryson, also a veteran, for Military Appreciation Night
  3. The Lightning return to home ice and dominate the Rangers
  4. The Lightning's Victor Hedman (77). Alex Killorn (17) and Nikita Kucherov (86) celebrate after an NHL hockey game against the Sabres in Globen Arena, Stockholm last week. ANDERS WIKLUND/TT  |  AP
    Tampa Bay’s schedule returns to a more normal pace tonight when it takes on the young, gritty Rangers.
  5. In this March 24, 2010, file photo, hockey personality Don Cherry, right, speaks during a news conference as actor Jared Keeso is displayed on a video screen while playing Cherry in the bio film "Keep Your Head Up Kid: The Don Cherry Story" in Toronto. Sportsnet cut ties with Cherry on Monday, Nov. 11, 2019, after the veteran hockey commentator called new immigrants "you people" on his "Coach's Corner" segment while claiming they do not wear poppies to honor Canadian veterans. DARREN CALABRESE  |  AP
    Cherry has not apologized for his remarks.
  6. The Stockholm City Library turned out to be the perfect place to get engaged. SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
    Stockholm City Library has a beautiful round hall that turned out to be the perfect place to get engaged
  7. Patrick Maroon of Tampa Bay Lightning against Buffalo on Nov. 9 in Stockholm. JONAS LJUNGDAHL  |  Bildbyran via ZUMA Press
    The team got practice, a reset and bonding from the week in Stockholm.
  8. Members of the Tampa Bay Lightning look on during the 2019 NHL Global Series Sweden, at the Ericsson Globe on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019 in Stockholm, Sweden. DAVE SANDFORD/NHLI  |  TNS
    Plus, a challenge to the NHL Challenge system, Tyler Johnson’s Sweden highlights and a Jon Cooper question. | Diana C. Nearhos
  9. A full-color model of the Vasa sits in front of the 391-year-old reconstructed Swedish warship at the Vasa Museum in Stockholm. DIANA NEARHOS  |  TIMES
    Swedish travels continue with two of the most popular attractions in Stockholm.
  10. Tampa celebrates after Victor Hedman, left, scored, during a NHL Global Series hockey match between the Buffalo Sabres and Tampa Bay Lightning at the Globen Arena, in Stockholm Sweden, Saturday. JESSICA GOW/TT  |  AP
    Yanni Gourde scored twice and Pat Maroon once as Tampa Bay swept the Globe Series back-to-back against the Sabres