This morning Darren Dreger reported that Tampa Bay Lightning starting goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy has a fractured left foot. News is still developing on this story. As of this writing, Dreger has been corroborated by Joe Smith, who softened the blow a little by saying that Vasilevskiy is “being evaluated,” and that more news will emerge later today.
We are awaiting further confirmation from the team, as well as news of a recall to replace Vasilevskiy on the roster.
Tough break for the Lightning. No pun intended. Sounds like Andrei Vasilevsky fractured his left foot and will be out for awhile.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) November 15, 2018
Can confirm Andrei Vasilevskiy being evaluated later today for a foot/ankle injury. Not sure how long he’ll be out. Either way, a big blow to #TBLightning. @DarrenDreger reported it first.— Joe Smith (@JoeSmithTB) November 15, 2018
The Lightning have been playing well to start the season, but this is not the kind of news you want to hear coming about the team’s starting goaltender. On the year, Vasilevskiy is 9-3-1 with a .927 SV% and 2.29 GGA with one shutout.
In his place, expect Louis Domingue to get the bulk of the starts. Domingue is 3-2 in starts this season, but has struggled with an .887 SV% and 3.43 GAA. Some of that is due to one really bad game against the Arizona Coyotes. However, he has only had two games this season where he’s had better than a .900 SV%.
Domingue has 87 career starts in the NHL including 12 last season for the Lightning after he was acquired from the Coyotes. Domingue has had a decent amount of starting experience, with his career high being 36 starts in 2015-16 for Arizona. Part of the reason the team brought in Domingue was that they needed another goaltender in the system that had NHL experience and could provide quality back-up starts. He was also a buy low trade as the Coyotes had discarded him after a disastrous 0-6-0 start to last season.
Peter Budaj had been under contract for 2018-19, but the Lightning decided to trade him back to the Los Angeles Kings and go with Domingue as the back-up. Domingue signed a two-year contract as a restricted free agent.
This will also have a trickle down effect on the Syracuse Crunch and the Orlando Solar Bears. My expectation is that the veteran Eddie Pasquale will be recalled to serve as Domingue’s back-up. Pasquale was called up in 2012-13 by the Winnipeg Jets as a back-up, but never got into game action. The other option in Syracuse is 21-year-old Connor Ingram. The next save either one makes in the NHL will be their first NHL saves.
Neither player has been spectacular, the Crunch have had their struggles to start the season. Pasquale has a 2.85 GAA and .896 SV% in seven games. Ingram on the other hand has a 3.44 GAA and .890 SV% in five games.
Likewise for the Solar Bears, it would mean Martin Ouellette being re-assigned from the ECHL to the Syracuse Crunch roster.
The team did recall Pasquale and Ouellette is headed to Syracuse as suggested above.
The @TBLightning have recalled goaltender Eddie Pasquale from the #SyrCrunch.— Syracuse Crunch (@SyracuseCrunch) November 15, 2018
Additionally, we have recalled goaltender Martin Ouellette from @OrlandoHockey.https://t.co/NUsios3sr6
The injury apparently occurred in practice on Wednesday.
INJURY UPDATE: Vasilevskiy exited Wednesday’s practice after making a save, he did not return to the ice. Cooper confirmed he got injured and is out indefinitely, he’s headed back to Tampa to be re-evaluated by team doctors.— Caley Chelios (@CaleyChelios) November 15, 2018