BET À DAY
Days after the Tampa Bay Lightning were eliminated, goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy opened up about the circumstances surrounding his underperformance in the first round.
< p>Winner of a Vézina Trophy and a Conn-Smythe Trophy, the Russian goaltender has belonged to the crème de la crème of the National Hockey League for several years. Known as a masked man who is at his best when the pressure is on, he fell short of expectations during the series between the “Bolts” and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
In six starts, Vasilevskiy posted an .875 save percentage and a 3.56 goals-against average. Results well below its standards.
The 28-year-old justified his largesse by pointing to the many injuries he suffered and accumulated during the regular season.
“I felt good for the first 30 to 35 games of the campaign, he told nhl.com. But after that… I don't know, my body and I weren't on the same page. All these little wounds surfaced at the same time.
“My mistake was not caring about my recovery. I kept pushing myself to the limit. Like I said after the 35th game of the season, my body let me down. To be honest, I've never been in good shape since.”
Since the 2019-20 season, the imposing goalkeeper has played 217 regular season games and 77 playoff games, appearing in three Stanley Cup Finals. A few months of vacation will therefore not hurt him.
“I don’t really like to rest, he continued. But at the same time, I understand that this is something I need right now. I really need to take care of my body.”
Lightning head coach Jon Cooper is fine with his right-hand man between the posts.
< p>“No goalkeeper has played as many high-intensity games in the last 36 months,” he said. At some point, can that have repercussions? I'm sure. His body will heal, he is still a young man and is keeping himself in great shape. But above all, his soul must heal. I think that's what he'll do him the most good.”