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this year and hopefully this opportunity | Forum

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lily
lily Jan 11
Vasilevskiy, selected by the Lightning with the No. 19 pick of the 2012 NHL Draft, spent most of the three previous seasons as Ben Bishop's backup, going Keith Magnuson Authentic Jersey from 16 games in 2014-15 to 24 games in 2015-16 to 32 games last season by the NHL Trade Deadline. After the Lightning traded Bishop to the Kings on Feb. 26, Vasilevskiy started 18 of their final 22 games, going 12-4-2 with a 2.27 GAA and .930 save percentage. "I've been saying, I thought he was going to be the top goalie in the League in a year or two, but he is right now," teammate Nikita Kucherov told the Tampa Bay Times. That strong play Marcus Kruger Authentic Jersey and heavy workload has carried into this season. Vasilevskiy has started 35 of 43 games, and Cooper said he isn't worried about overplaying him. "You look at goaltenders in this league and the shape they're in, nobody is really breaking down because they are out of shape," he said. "These guys want to play, Marian Hossa Authentic Jersey especially if you think our five-day break is coming up [starting Friday] … there are little spots in here where there are some breaks. We manage the amount of games he's going to play, but he's feeling like he's in good shape. If he ends up getting in the 60s [in games played], it's no different than what [Bishop] got when he was with us. He can more than handle it." Vasilevskiy said he feels fresh physically and is getting used to handling the mental grind of playing day after day. "I'm young Martin Havlat Authentic Jersey so I can handle it," the 23-year-old said. "It's more difficult for my mind. There are a lot of things that appear in your mind. You've got to handle it, be prepared. You can't think, if you win a couple games, you can't think you'll win the next game for sure. I've got to be tough mentally." Jay Feaster, who was general manager when the Lightning won the Stanley Cup in 2004 and is executive director of community hockey development for them, said he sees a Cup-winning goaltender. "He just goes out and plays," Feaster said. "You don't hear that he's playing too much, you have to get the backup working in here. I was watching … and I thought man, that looks like a young [Nikolai] Khabibulin. Just so calm and cool and collected. Nothing's bothering him."
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