Avalanche Lightning | Another mission for Vasilevskiy


(Tampa) At 27, Andrei Vasilevskiy is already virtually certain of a place in the Hall of Fame. But he can continue to build the legend of him during this final.

Posted yesterday at 12:55

Guillaume Lefrancois

Guillaume Lefrancois
The print

The lightning and the avalanche return this Sunday to the Amalie Arena, for match 6 of the Stanley Cup final. And the Avalanche will have to achieve something that has not been achieved since April 16, 2019: beat Vasilevskiy in a match where the Lightning bolt risks elimination .

Frankly, the Lightning haven’t found themselves on the brink often since the Columbus Blue Jackets wiped it out. It has happened four times, in fact, and the Russian goalkeeper is 4-0, but more importantly, a save percentage of 1.33 GAA and .956 in those circumstances.

Vasilevskiy remains relatively mysterious. Although he speaks decent English, he gives very few interviews. He hasn’t spoken to reporters since the media day of June 14.

But even internally, there seems to be some mystery. Earlier this week, Jon Cooper mentioned that the Lightning members tried not to interfere with Vasilevskiy’s “routine” on game days. And this routine?

“I wasn’t with him, but I’m sure his routine started last night,” Cooper replied. But this whole league is all a matter of routine. I’m sure you too [les journalistes], you have your own routine. Do the same things, go to the same bar. Goalkeepers are like that, they have their habits. And if you write a bad article, change coffee! But that’s how we work here. He has his own routine and we let him do it. ”

“In general, we try not to disturb the goalkeepers on match days,” confirmed Zach Bogosian. It’s really intense, even on the days we don’t play. He goes out of his way to improve himself and make sure he is on top of his game, and that involves a lot of habits that he must have been maintaining for years and it works for him! It’s really cool when one of your impactful players is so focused on his work. ”

Vaslevskiy hasn’t been perfect in recent games, however, particularly on Avalanche’s first goal on Friday when he conceded a return on a high shot he should have taken.

But the contrast is still striking with his rival, Darcy Kuemper. Again on Saturday, Jared Bednar had to answer questions about his level of trust in his goalkeeper, who seems to concede at least one “bad” goal per game from his exclusion in the second game.


Darcy Kuemper is thwarted by an Ondrej Palat shot in Friday’s match.

Kuemper is shooting .898 this spring. Since the block in 2005, the worst percentage of saves by a number 1 goalkeeper to win the Stanley Cup has been Marc-André Fleury’s .908 in 2009 with the Penguins.

Still no point, a doubt for Nichushkin?

In addition, Lightning will not receive the reinforcements provided for this sixth game. Jon Cooper said he expects to field the same roster as the last game, which means Brayden Point will be out again. The attacker will miss the fourth consecutive match.

It also seems that the Avalanche will not receive new forces. Andre Burakovsky briefly jumped on the ice for morning exercise, before returning to the locker room. He also hasn’t played since the second game.

There remains a certain intrigue surrounding Valeri Nichushkin. TSN colleague Chris Johnston reported that the striker hobbled into the arena on Sunday. “Let’s hope he’s training,” Jared Bednar said simply.

Nichushkin has been one of Avalanche’s best strikers since the start of the finals, if not the best. In five games he scored four goals and two assists and shot 21 times.

Same as in game 4

We talked routinely before … The two Avalanche players who spoke to the media on Sunday morning were Mikko Rantanen and Andrew Cogliano. However, it was they too who had been designated the game of game 4, here in Tampa, game that Avalanche ultimately won.

Even better, colleague Peter Baugh, of The Athletic, pointed out that Cogliano, upon his arrival in the room, even overturned the cards with the names of the two players, so much so that he was in the same position as last Wednesday …


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