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In an unexpected switcheroo, Lightning recall G Kristers Gudlevskis and demote Andrei Vasilevskiy

More playing time for Vasy is sought, but did something else influence this decision?

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

When Andrei Vasilevskiy started Sunday night's game in Los Angeles, it seemed light a standard thing to do. The team wanted to give Vasy more playing time and Ben Bishop had started the night before and had a little incident on ice. How can you keep Bishop fresh and hold to plans by not starting Vasilevskiy in that situation.

The thing is that Vasy didn't last. 20:15 of ice time, 10 shots on goal against him and 8 saves. Allowing his second goal of the night so early in the 2nd period (and just after Brian Boyle had put the Lightning into the game) got him yanked.

A goalie gaffe hasn't gotten a netminder pulled in most of Jon Cooper's tenure as head coach of the Lightning. It seemed like there was an aspect we don't know about that's played out in the background. Perhaps there is? Perhaps there's just a need to get Vasy's head back into the game? Whatever the deal is, Vasilevskiy was sent down to the Syracuse Crunch this afternoon and the Yak-man Kristers Gudlevskis recalled by Tampa Bay. Skittles has already had his sound, solo effort with the Lightning this season - going to overtime with the Chicago Blackhawks and giving up the single goal that ended the game in the ‘Hawks favor. With the Syracuse Crunch in the AHL this season, Gudlevskis has a 6-5-0 record, a 2.40 GAA and a .922 save percentage in his 12 performances this season. Those are sound numbers on a dysfunctional Crunch squad.