Quick Strikes: Andrei Vasilevskiy earns third-best goalie in NHL Network rankings

It was his first season as a starter — we’ll take it.

The Bolts

The NHL Network ranked Andrei Vasilevskiy third in their Top 10 Goalies Right Now list, one spot ahead of fellow Conference final goalie from 2018, Connor Hellebuyck, and neatly behind Cup-winning goaltender Braden Holtby. First? Sergei Bobrovsky. We’ll take it. [NHL Network]

In his first season as Tampa Bay’s No. 1 goalie, the 24-year-old finished tied for the NHL lead in wins (44; Connor Hellebuyck of the Winnipeg Jets) and shutouts (eight; Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators), and had a 2.62 GAA and .920 save percentage to finish third in voting for the Vezina Trophy.

Our pal from The Hockey Writers, Eugene Helfrick, took on the topic of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s four worst contracts, today. You’ll never guess #1. [THW]

With numerous players coming off of their entry-level contracts or bridge-deals in recent years, suddenly the Lightning have found themselves with multiple long-term contracts that are already looking questionable. With this in mind, who are the Lightning’s worst contracts entering the 2018-19 season?

The Tampa Bay Lightning have four players in EA Sports’ top 50, with three of them (Steven Stamkos, Victor Hedman, and Nikita Kucherov) in the top 10. [EA Sports]

NHL 19 ratings highlight the best players in the game. Overall attributes take into account individual abilities for both skaters and goalies. See who made the list of top 50 players in NHL 19

Yesterday, Geo broke down Ryan Malone’s third career hat trick against the Carolina Hurricanes. [Raw Charge]

For Malone, this was his third hat trick of four in his career and his first with the Lightning and 31st hat trick overall for the Lightning franchise. Below, I’ll analyze each goal that he scored and how he got to his hat trick in this game. Check out the highlights in the YouTube video at the bottom.

Is Steve Yzerman actually under pressure? NHL on NBC seems to think so. [NHL on NBC]

Yzerman needs to find a way to re-sign Brayden Point, the team’s No. 2 center who, if he continues to improve, could become a point-per-game player this season. That kind of production commands big money, although a bridge deal could help lessen the blow for a couple years.

I hope they recover thoroughly. Three Syracuse Crunch players to miss time due to injury. [Raw Charge]

Thomas joins Michael Bournival (ACL rehab) and Olivier Archambault (shoulder) as key players that are likely to miss the beginning of the season per Syracuse Crunch General Manager Julien BriseBois. Bother Bournival and Archambault’s injuries were known heading into the off-season, with Bournival suffering the injury in a late-season game against Laval and Archambault’s shoulder getting banged up in the second-round sweep at the hands of Toronto.

The Game