Can Andrei Vasilevskiy replace Ben Bishop between the post?

photo via thehockeywriters.com
photo via thehockeywriters.com

Meanwhile, in the NHL off-season the Lightning have very few questions entering the 2015-2016 season. The one question this season is if Vasilevskiy will steal games away from Bishop. Vasy is the next generational goalie and with his potential he could be like Patrick Roy. Both use the butterfly style. In addition, here is some scouting on Vasy’s style. In addition, to the scouting, here is a link to a short video of some highlights of Vasilevskiy’s NHL career: http://video.lightning.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=782532.

Next, Via the Goalie Guild circa 2012: Vasilevskiy has a very wide butterfly, and a similar tilt in his setup stance to Nikolai Khabibulin. Like many Russian goaltenders, he stands upright and stays up on his skates in many sequences compared to North American goalies. He has the classic post-protection style, staying upright and leaning into his post, sealing it top to bottom and keeping his far-side leg in tight to his body. Vasilevskiy recovers out of the butterfly very quickly, and is very fluid using the advanced pop-up recovery technique. He mirrors the puck very well with his stick. He is animated in the crease, and shows emotion, but always with a stone-cold look on his face. He has a silently solid presence.

  Next, Hockey’s Future: Vasilevskiy is a large and agile goaltender capable of making dramatic saves with his quickness and athleticism. Still developing in terms of the technical and tactical aspects of the position he appears to have relatively unlimited potential at this point.

  Next, Via the Tampa Bay Times in February: There are many reasons the Lightning believes Vasilevskiy can be a future No. 1. There’s his blend of size — 6 feet 3, 210 pounds  and athleticism. There’s his ability to track the puck, and his poise beyond his years. But what often goes unseen behind closed doors is Vasilevskiy’s tremendous mental and physical preparation. Goalie coach Frantz Jean said it’s uncommon for someone of his age and experience, believing it’s on par with former Lightning captain Marty St. Louis, whose workouts were legendary. “It’s like he’s been a pro for 10 years,” Jean said of Vasilevskiy. “It’s extremely impressive.”

   In addition, to some of the Lightning’s report and liking of Vasilevskiy’s. Here is a link to his best play in his NHL career so far. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NUqI_inPQM.

Now, Vasilevskiy has shown his talents and will be ready to cash in on them and steal time away from Bishop. Vasy is much younger and cheaper than Bishop. Bishop is a great goalie, but the young Russian has all the tools to be successful. Also it is kind of hard not to play the young 21 year old. Bishop is going to be a free agent after the 2016-2017 season. Bishop will stay a Bolt for this year and most likely split time with Vasy, but Bishop will get the nod over Andrei if it is a key game and if he is hot at the time. Ride the hot hand. Vasy will most likely take the reigns after this upcoming season because you want to get something in return for Bishop because you might not be able to afford him with the Triplet line, Victor Hedman, Alex Killorn, and Steven Stamkos due for new deals. Also you have more team control with Vasilevskiy. It is key nowadays to have 2 top goalies, but Bishop has shown signs of aging with injuries happening. When Bishop goes, Vasy will be number 1 and either one of the other 2 young goalies will back up Vasy. Those goalies include Allen York and Kristers Gudlevskis. Gudlevskis has played in quite a few NHL games already. Vasilevskiy has played in 16 regular season games. In those 16 games he has a record of 7 wins, 5 losses, and 1 overtime loss (7-5-1). Vasy owns so far a goal against average of 2.36 and a save percentage of .918. He has played in 4 NHL playoff games also. He will improve every year and show the Lightning why he was worth taking 19th overall in the 2012 NHL Draft.

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