2022 Stanley Cup Final — Does Andrei Vasilevskiy belong in the Mount Rushmore of playoff goalies

DENVER — Everyone has his down moments.

The Stanley Cup Final Game 1 was the first. Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy In the first period of a playoff match, the team had conceded three goals. Two of those goals were scored by the team. Colorado Avalanche His tallies were unusually low, and he was reaching for “soft” goals that are at least according to his standards.

The best thing about being the best is having an unmatched confidence in your abilities. He stopped every shot that he faced up until the Avalanche won over in overtime. His aggressive players were challenged with a fierceness unaffected even by his first period struggles. He is an all-world goaltender. He stood tall and gave our team a chance to win it,” captain Steven Stamkos said.

Andrei Vasilevskiy doesn't matter to the Lightning. He's simply amazing.

“It's cool to play with a person that will go down in history as the best player to ever play the game. Tampa Bay Lightning Winger Alex Killorn He said the same about his goaltender.

Andrei Vasilevskiy's career is at this stage where trying to contextualize his inherent greatness is almost like giving an Oscar for best picture halfway through a film's premiere. Next month, he turns 28. He is finishing his eighth NHL season with the Lightning. In five of his NHL regular-season wins, he won the Vezina Trophy 2018-19 as the league’s best goaltender.

However, it is the postseason successes that have Killorn naming Vasilevskiy the winner before he turns 30.

The Stanley Cup Final Game 1 against the Colorado AvalancheHe was a participant in 98 postseason matches. He won 61. He holds a career save percentage of.925 in postseason play, which is tied with Dominik HasekThis is only.001 from the greatest score of all time. His statistics in games where the Lightning eliminated opponents are legendary. He has six series-clinching shutouts (the most in NHL history).

Vasilevskiy is the Starbucks of coffee if you are looking for closers.

Oh, and he was the backbone to consecutive Stanley Cup championships. He could also win a third consecutive in a row. In 2021, he will be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy, which is the playoff MVP.

This too.

Some “Goalie Mount Rushmore” talk has been heard about Vasilevskiy in this postseason. Perhaps you've heard it or seen it. So I asked someone, whose visage was already chiseled on the cliffside, if Vasilevskiy is there at this point.

“I believe so,” Hockey Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur said.

“The way he has played the past three years is amazing. His stats, including those Game 7s and clinching wins are amazing. He said that it takes a special goalie in order to be so dominant over so many years.” It would have been so easy for him to simply say, You know what? I had a great run. These Stanley Cups were mine. He just perseveres, you see?”

Marty, as you can see, is quite in love with Vasilevskiy. As Vasilevskiy is Marty's favorite goaltender, Brodeur revealed to me that he had acquired autographed items through Tampa Bay goaltending Coach Frantz Jean for the little fan in his life. Brodeur was a tireless advocate for the game. Carey Price You can find the Montreal Canadiens As the NHL's most outstanding goaltender, Vasilevskiy is a pillar of honor. Vasilevskiy made that a reality.

Brodeur said that he was on the run since then.

Brodeur is an expert on postseason success. He actually knows three things about postseason success, as shown by the number of Stanley Cups that he won with them. New Jersey Devils En route to 113 career wins in the postseason, he is second all-time. Patrick Roy (151).

Three Cups. However, not three consecutively as Vasilevskiy aims to do.

“I never had that chance. In just four years, I attended three Stanley Cup Finals. I went back to back [in 2000 and 2001] Brodeur stated, “And lost to Colorado in seven matches.” It's insane what he is about to do, Brodeur said.

Let me take out my chisel and make a Mount Rushmore of playoff goalies. Roy is there. With 151 playoff wins and three Stanley Cups, Roy could be considered a mountain.

I would chisel Brodeur right next to me. The third spot could be given to any number of players. New York Islanders Jacques Plante and Ken Dryden were winners of the Six-Cup, as was Billy Smith, dynasty's goalie. Edmonton Oilers legend Grant Fuhr You can choose from any of them. You can pick any one of them, and you'll be fine.

I'd then chisel Vasilevskiy alongside them.

It's more than the three possible Stanley Cup wins in succession. It's also the four trips to conference finals in five seasons. It's impressive numbers against an offensive team that isn't the friendliest to goalies. He has 13 series-clinching wins during his playoff career. Marc-Andre Fleury (16) Among active goalies, with an average save percentage of.991 in his past eight series-clinching victories, dating back as far as the 2020 Stanley Cup Final.

Just my opinion. Others may not agree with it.

“It is a bit early to be talking on the Mount Rushmore for goalies because it's a very early time,” said Brian Engblom. Engblom was a former NHL defenseman, and was a broadcaster for Lightning during Vasilevskiy’s career. “It's hard to answer. This is the entire history of the NHL. It's important to consider longevity. He has done a tremendous job up to this point and I expect him to continue doing so.

What is Vasilevskiy that makes him superior to everyone else?

Engblom declared, “He is a machine.” “He's got the fastest legs I've ever seen in the National Hockey League. He is so quick. He's known as the Big Cat. I have seen many plays in which men come in and make a million-dollar moves and then shoot out a leg. The forward's expression is clear: “C'mon, you didn’t stop that one. That's impossible.” He accomplishes the impossible.

What does this mean?

“He can do both directions at once.”

Like Mr. Fantastic from The Fantastic Four?

“Watch him during warm-ups. He'll do the splits for 30 seconds. It's like a gymnast. He is an incredible athlete, extremely powerful, and has all the attributes. He's driven to win. He strives to be the best.

I asked Vasilevskiy for his backup. Brian ElliottLearn more about the drive to succeed.

It's quite special. It's something I was happy to partner up with when I signed here. Elliott stated that Elliott is one of the most talented men to do it. “I was fortunate to have one of those stints while Marty Brodeur was in St. Louis. It's a great feeling to be at a practice with legends at the other end. [Vasy] Is making himself one of those men that will go down in history. That's very special to me.”

Do you think he belongs on the Mount Rushmore list of playoff goalies

“I don’t put him there.” Elliott deadpanned. “I don’t want to get into that whole discussion. He has proven and continues to prove what he can accomplish.”

It's amazing to see what Vasilevskiy might prove when it is all said and done. 2017-18 was his first season as a full-time starter. In the five years since, he has won only 188 games out of 372 total games. He also won 50.5% of his team’s games. According to ESPN Stats & Information, five more seasons at that win rate would mean 207 victories; 10 more seasons would be 414 more victories. This would make him 643 career victories, 48 more than Brodeur's 691 record.

Hypothetically, even though Vasilevskiy loses 10 games in Years 6-10 because he is older and/or plays with lower teams, he would still have 600 wins and be easily in second place in NHL History.

Do the footsteps come from Brodeur?

“Not yet,” he replied. He said, “He still has a lot to do. But that's okay. As I said before, if someone reaches the record they will be rewarded.

Brodeur is right. I admire the masonry that I did to place Andrei Vasilevskiy on my Mount Rushmore. Vasilevskiy may not be on the Mount Rushmore for regular-season goalies.

It's not possible to do so yet.

Engblom, metaphorical chisel holding in his hand, said that he was getting only half of his face on Mount Rushmore. “I'll save the other half for when we play for another eight or nine more years.”

Andrei Vasilevskiy's legend will continue until then.

Killorn stated that this is how you measure players: how they perform in big-time matches. “He's been nothing less than tremendous in these gaming games.”

2022 Stanley Cup Final -- Does Andrei Vasilevskiy belong in the Mount Rushmore of playoff goalies

Jersey Foul of Week

From Tampa Bay:

Lightning fans were divided on why Phil Esposito, the Hockey Hall of Famer, who was a driving force behind Tampa's expansion, should be celebrated as a Foul.

This is a hockey jersey. It should not be considered a billboard. From a design perspective, the huge blue ocean of colors under the nameplate can be distracting. You should at least add a number. In honor of the founding of the team, 92 is there. It would still be called Foul.

Video of the Week

The Stanley Cup Final is now for the Avalanche. It's only a matter of time that this happens. gets unearthed.

In 2012, Imagine Dragons put out a video for their song “Radioactive” Alexandra Daddario was featured in the film, with a subplot about Muppet pit fighting. This somehow inspired The Colorado Avalanche To create their own “Radioactive” video featuring current players in 2014. Gabriel Landeskog Nathan MacKinnon Also, former Avs Paul Stastny Matt Duchene.

You sweat a lot. Lip-syncing. And lip-syncing. A clip of Patrick Roy (then-head coach) trying to beat Bruce Boudreau between two benches is also included. It's truly radioactive.

“Imagine Avs,” or as it was called, was a collaboration between Imagine Dragons and the team. It was actually removed by the Avalanche from their YouTube channel a while back. You can see it here or on Streamable.

If they win, we demand a rematch. If they lose, we demand a remake.

Weekly winners and losers

Winner: Vegas Golden Knights

Bruce Cassidy, a brilliant coach and an honest one, is a wonderful person. He is as honest as they come. His hiring The Golden Knights will be benefited by this. They could use someone who can cut through the noise and look under the hood for the problem with their engine. Cassidy takes over a competitor on the rise instead of a struggling one in Boston. This hire is a good thing for everyone.

Loser: Secrecy

John Tortorella and the Philadelphia FlyersESPN's – a place to hire. Kevin Weekes It is in the works. It's impossible to imagine a more aesthetic and philosophical combination than Seething Man & the Broad Street Bullies. It's still a great read. tough look for the Flyers to have reports Barry Trotz was their first choice. He also turned down $7 Million annually! to coach the team.

Winner: Arizona Coyotes

Gary Bettman is the Arizona market's most passionate fan. His website is state of the league news conferenceThe Commissioner was once again present to support the Coyotes’ three-year deal (plus the option of a fourth) Arizona State University's arena can accommodate a maximum of 5,000 people.

“It is not uncommon. If you believe in the market for the long-term, you will do what it takes to succeed. We are optimistic and excited about the future. [Tempe] He also mentioned the possibility of an arena being built during the Coyotes' game at ASU. Bettman also cited numerous examples of teams temporarily playing in smaller venues, such as the San Jose Sharks The Cow Palace Tampa Bay Lightning Expo Hall. These were expansion teams. The placeholder venues can still hold twice as many people as ASU.

Loser: San Jose Sharks

Bill Daly, NHL deputy Commissioner, stated that Evander Kane Grievance regarding the San Jose Sharks contract terminationhas been delayed Because of scheduling conflicts with an arbitrator, the agreement may not be reached before July 13, when free agency opens.

This obviously affects Kane but Sheng Peng, a writer spells out why it impacts the Sharks even moreCap space, buyout decisions and cap space.

Winner: Empathic decisions

The NHL deserves credit for addressing the elephant in a room quickly and effectively.

Daly stated that “We made both clubs fully aware of this summer's plans, and the Cup is not going anywhere in Russia or Belarus.” “We might owe a Cup tour in the future, much like we did with pandemic. It's not happening this year.

Loser: Gerard Gallant

I received several text messages from hockey public relation professionals who were shocked by the Rangers coach’s stumbles. Kaapo KakkoThe Lightning's Game 6 game saw a healthy scratch. Gallant did not address the matter during or after the game.

It wasn't until later that he admitted it was just a decision to make his team the best. Gallant refused to discuss the matter and opened the floodgates to speculation about Kakko's “real” reason for being out of the lineup. These theories ranged from an incident with his coach to more extreme ones. This is a terrible thing and completely unwarranted. It is a simple error.

The headlines for Puck

  • LeBron James meets the Stanley Cup.

  • E. lengthy essay that includes this interesting thought: “Connor McDavid He has the skills he does, partly because he is the first star in the post-headshot era.

  • On an all-Black hockey team in Minnesota. “To have such a team come through here is no other way to say, We've reached our destination. We're here. Hockey is truly for everyone. This is a clear proof.”

  • If the World Cup of Hockey is successful, it will be an unprecedented success. it's held during the season. It is a great plan.

  • What the scouts are saying about top NHL prospects. “I would choose Slafkovsky. You saw it at the Hlinka and the Olympics. It was also evident at the Worlds. Wright isn't a different-making player, I think. It was difficult to tell in many games where Wright's drive and effort were needed to win the game.

  • Congrats to the Rangers for their forward-thinking decision Jessica Campbell will serve as a coach for the 2022 Rangers Development Camp later in summer.

  • “Despite flirtations and overtures, particularly with Rockets owner Tilman Ferrtitta, regarding adding a major league hockey team to the Toyota Center,” anything that resembles an outright NHL-to Houston move in 2022 is pure speculation. Oh, OK, glad we cleared that up.

  • Imagine the possibilities! Alex DeBrincat What could trade look like for the Chicago Blackhawks. “If the Blackhawks decide to go all-in with a rebuild and deal DeBrincat, there should be no shortage of interested teams. New Jersey, Buffalo, Detroit and other areas need to get their rebuilding underway. Calgary may need to be replaced Johnny Gaudreau. Los Angeles and the New York Islanders Need another star. We will not know what this trade would look like. However, there is at most a possible framework based on similar deals from the salary cap era.

  • Jake Thibeault at his graduation. the kind of thing that makes your week.

From your friends at ESPN

Kristen Shilton nine decisions that made the Avalanche a juggernaut.

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