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Василевский, Кучеров, Наместников отличились на льду Тампы. |
23 сентября 2014 года.
Свой первый предсезонный матч «Тампа Бэй Лайтнинг» провели на домашнем льду против «Нэшвилл Прэдаторс». Проигрывая 1:2 после двух периодов, в заключительные 20 минут «молнии» трижды поразили ворота соперников и вырвали победу 4:2. Отлично провели поединок молодые россияне — нападающий Никита Кучеров, забивший один гол и отдавший одну результативную передачу, еще один форвард Владислав Наместников, трижды ассистировавший партнёрам, и голкипер Андрей Василевский, отыгравший все 60 минут и отразивший 28 бросков из 30.
Главный тренер «Тампы Бэй» Джон Купер остался доволен дебютом Василевского, впервые примерившего форму «Лайтнинг».
«Для первого матча в Северной Америке Василевский сыграл просто отлично», – сказал Купер.
«Первые может быть пять-десять минут чувствовал себя не очень хорошо, немного нервничал. После того как поймал первые пару бросков стало спокойнее и до конца игры мне было комфортно», – сказал Василевский.
За игрой сына следил и Андрей Василевский-старший. Он поделился своими эмоциями от первой игры Андрея в НХЛ : "Как родитель очень волновался, постоянно смотрел он -лайн текст матча, очень нервничали как пройдет игра, но дебют в итоге прошел шикарно. После игры в раздевалке с дебютом Андрея поздравил не только тренер, но и вся команда, сын поделился эмоциями, что он получил большое удовольствие от игры и от того как приняли его болельщики".
Пресса США : Bolts’ Vasilevskiy on full display at preseason opener
By Erik Erlendsson | Tribune Staff Erik Erlendsson Published: September 24, 2014
TAMPA — The goaltender of the future for the Tampa Bay Lightning arrived Tuesday.
Well, sort of.
After two years of waiting, the Lightning finally got the chance to see arguably one of the top prospects in hockey up close and personal as Andrei Vasilevskiy suited up in Tampa Bay’s preseason opener against Nashville at Amalie Arena.
Sure, Vasilevskiy didn’t have to face a slap shot from Shea Weber or stare down Mike Riberio on a breakaway. But if scouting reports are accurate, it won’t be long before the talented Russian is leading the Lightning onto the ice for years to come.
“He’s certainly one of the top goalie prospects that are out there in the world,” said former Lightning goaltender Kevin Weekes, now an analyst with NHL Network. “He’s very athletic, very dynamic. He’s very highly touted, competes hard in the net and I think his game is a little more advanced than his age right now.”
Vasilevskiy played the full 60 minutes in the game, finishing with 28 saves to pick up the victory in his preseason debut.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling to be in my first NHL game; it’s just a preseason game but it was a fun game,” Vasilevskiy said
When he was selected with the 19th overall pick in the 2012 draft, the Vasilevskiy had two years remaining on a deal with Salavat in the Kontinental Hockey League. Despite attempts from Vasilevskiy’s camp to free him from his deal, he remained there and ended up securing the No. 1 goaltending position with Ufa, helping his team to the semifinals with a 1.99 goals-against average in the playoffs.
After spending his summers training in Ottawa and attending the past two Lightning summer development camps, the 20-year-old is excited about finally joining the team full-time.
“I am very happy to be here,” said Vasilevskiy, whose English has improved greatly in the past year. “This is a good organization, a good league, good guys here and I like it here. I hope to one day play in the NHL.”
The consensus is not necessarily if Vasilevskiy plays in the NHL, but when.
Alexander Pashkov, a former Russian Olympic player, has compared him to Russian goaltending legend Vladislav Tretiak.
In an ESPN.com ranking of NHL prospects, Vasilevskiy was named the top goaltender with the comment, “I’m not exaggerating when I say this: Vasilevskiy is one of the best goalie prospects of the past 20 years. He’s a special player who has excelled if not dominated at just about every level and major event he’s participated in during the past five years.”
On the NHL.com list of the top 60 prospects entering this season, Vasilevskiy was No. 7 overall and second among goaltenders behind Anaheim’s John Gibson.
Though he is expected to spend most — if not all — of his rookie season in North America playing for Syracuse in the American Hockey League, Vasilevskiy carries a lot of expectations with him.
Less than a week into main training camp, he already is showing off his skills to Lightning staff members. Coaches are getting the chance to see Vasilevskiy work up close and personal, many of them for first time.
“He comes with a lot of hype, and well deserved,” associate coach Rick Bowness said. “This year, watching him a lot closer, he’s a big kid and you don’t realize how big he is and how much of the net he covers, how quick he is and how hard he works. Even some of our veteran players have said, “This kid works hard.” There are some goalies who get tired, but this kid is in there battling and fighting every shot regardless if it’s a shooting drill or whatever.
“So give the kid a lot of credit for watching him compete in practice and how good he is. So we are all very excited about seeing this kid.”
Despite the hype and expectations, the plan is to allow Vasilevskiy to ease his way into things, allow him to grow on and off the ice.
“We are excited to have him here,” general manager Steve Yzerman said. “We are all looking forward to seeing him, but we are going to take it one step at a time and let him get comfortable, progress slowly.”
With Ben Bishop entrenched as the No. 1 goalie coming off a Vezina-caliber season, and veteran Evgeni Nabokov brought in to be the backup, there is no need to push Vasilevskiy too hard, too soon.
“You can just let him develop at his own pace, let him dance to his own music,” Weekes said “There is no need to rush.”
The future will arrive soon enough.