TAMPA — Andrei Vasilevskiy’s best performance outside of the regular season came in the offseason.
In the wake of the Lightning’s sweep by the Blue Jackets in the first round of the playoffs, the goaltender stood in front of a pack of reporters and cheap nhl jerseys china
did something no one else on the team did: He said he needed to be better. He didn’t say “we.” He said “I.”
This was the 24-year-old Russian who has expressed discomfort with talking to the media because of his imperfect but understandable English. Yet, he was the one to take individual ownership after the team’s playoff collapse.
Vasilevskiy wasn’t bad against Columbus. He just wasn’t great. And in regular season, Vasilevskiy is one of the best. Saturday, for the second straight year, he was named a finalist for the Vezina Trophy, awarded to the league’s top goalie.
Three separate times in the sweep’s wake he said, “I have to do better.”
There wasn’t a lot of accountability around the Lightning’s dressing room, neither immediately after Game 4 on Tuesday nor in the wrapup interviews Thursday. General manager Julien BriseBois and coach Jon Cooper referred to execution, which, no matter what they said, sounds like a player issue. Players echoed the execution theme and said, “We need to be better.”