Vasilevskiy refused to leave the net despite coach Cooper trying to pull him after 2nd period

The Lightning’s goalie wasn’t going anywhere, but…

Published 11 months ago
Vasilevskiy refused to leave the net despite coach Cooper trying to pull him after 2nd period

This was the answer the Toronto Maple Leafs needed to send to the Tampa Bay Lightning. And they were loud and clear in Game 2 of their first round series on Thursday night. Captain John Tavares completed the hat trick in a 7-2 victory to bounce back and even the series at 1 in a loud Scotiabank Arena.

However, Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy cannot blame the local fans for not hearing what his head coach Jon Cooper had to say. According to insider Chris Johnston, Cooper attempted to pull Vasilevskiy after two periods, however, the veteran goalie, who has played every second of Lightning post-season action since 2020, refused. He returned to the cage for the last frame and allowed seven goals on 37 shots.

Cooper did not appear offended to have his goalie refuted his suggestion to be replaced in between the pipes, crediting Vasilevskiy for his desire to be better.

“That’s why he’s the best in the world. He’s not coming out.”

However, during the second intermission, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman had a feeling Vasilevskiy would not want to be yanked, seeing that he has a reputation of not being happy with getting replaced in net.

Vasilevskiy might have need the fuel for Game 3, which takes place on Saturday in Tampa. To make things worse for the goalie, he could not count on defenseman Victor Hedman, who was out with undisclosed injury that forced him from Game 1 after one period, as well as blue liner Erik Cernak, who took a hit to the head from forward Michael Bunting that landed the Maple Leafs’ forward a three-game suspension.

Let’s see how Vasilevskiy and the Bolts respond this weekend in Florida.

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