Tampa Bay Lightning: 10 Best Plays of Vincent Lecavalier's Career

Eric SteitzAnalyst IIIJanuary 26, 2013

Tampa Bay Lightning: 10 Best Plays of Vincent Lecavalier's Career

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    Vincent Lecavalier has been the face of the Tampa Bay Lightning franchise since he was drafted first-overall in 1998. Over 1,000 games later, Lecavalier has provided dazzling moves, slick passes and crafty goals for Bolts fans, but some are better than the rest. 

    Last week before the game against the Ottawa Senators, Vinny was honored for achieving the 1,000-game mark with one team—something only 49 other players have achieved in NHL history.

    With nearly 900 points in his decorated career, Lecavalier has provided Tampa with tons of highlights and even a Stanley Cup. Here are 10 of Vinny’s greatest highlights showcasing his all-around abilities.

    Feel free to add your own favorite play from No. 4. 

April 8, 2011 Against Florida Panthers

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    The 2011 postseason was a magical run for the Tampa Bay Lightning, but it all started with a late-season push. Tampa won eight of its last nine games to close out the season and catapult the team to the Eastern Conference Finals.

    Pivotal in that run was the captain, Lecavalier. A win over a division foe late in the season is huge. This goal provided that lift.

October 13, 2010 Against Montreal Canadiens

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    In 2009-10, Steven Stamkos announced his presence in the hockey world with a loud 51-goal campaign, and the NHL witnessed one of the most potent offenses in the league. 

    Two of the best centers to ever wear a Lightning uniform hooked up on the goal above. Vinny gets three Canadiens to drop before lacing a pass to a wide-open Stamkos—something the NHL has seen more than once.

January 3, 2012 Against Toronto Maple Leafs

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    No, that isn’t a Tampa power play. Vinny is bracketed by two Leafs defenders, and for some reason, he calls for the puck. He splits the D with a fancy move and sneaks a goal by Jonas Gustavsson. 

    Great skill and great hands have kept Lecavalier producing consistently throughout his career.

January 24, 2012 Against Columbus Blue Jackets

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    There isn’t another duo in the NHL with more skill and chemistry than Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis. Teammates for the last 12 seasons, these two have put on a clinic with skilled passing, and this clip is no exception. 

    Hockey fans everywhere can appreciate the beauty of this give-and-go. 

December 28, 2010 Against Boston Bruins

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    It doesn’t really matter how many defensemen try to stop Lecavalier. Against one of the best defensive teams in the league, the Boston Bruins, Vinny literally skates circles around the defense. 

    He shows great patience, balance and skill to find the back of the net. Tim Thomas’s reaction displays the frustration that Lecavalier has caused goaltenders for years.

October 7, 2011 Against Carolina Hurricanes

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    Hand-eye coordination is one attribute of great offensive players. Dekes can’t happen without it. Accurate shots don’t happen without it. 

    Check out this beauty that makes even the best baseball players proud.

April 20, 2011 Against Pittsburgh Penguins

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    Some of the best players in the game leave everyone in the arena wondering, “How did he just do that?” Lecavalier is one of those people. 

    He has an uncanny knack for touch and understands the play steps in advance. Again, Vinny partners with St. Louis for a goal that left people wondering how it just happened.

2004 World Cup of Hockey: Canada Against Czech Republic

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    Lecavalier wasn’t the biggest name on the Canada roster in 2004, but he provided one of the biggest moments in the tournament. Canada doesn’t accept any national team that doesn’t medal in hockey. 

    Heading into overtime against the Czech Republic in the World Cup semifinals, the Canadians needed a lift. They got it from Vinny. 

    As he has done with the Lightning many times before, Lecavalier provided a clutch goal for the Canadians. They eventually won gold. 

October 18, 2002 Against Atlanta Thrashers

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    You have to be lucky to be good and good to be lucky—Lecavalier is obviously both. The clip above demonstrates the qualities necessary of a leader—determination, effort and sacrifice. 

    This goal didn’t happen the way it was drawn up, but it is one of the best goals in his career.

June 7, 2004 Against Calgary Flames

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    One of the most, if not the most, memorable moments in Lightning history came on June 7, 2004 and was orchestrated by none other than Lecavalier. The Lightning had just staved off elimination in Game 6 of the 2004 Stanley Cup Finals with a 3-2 double-overtime win. 

    With a chance to win the cup in front of the home crowd, Lecavalier found a way to get it done. Up 1-0 in the second period, he weaved his way through the defense and found Ruslan Fedotenko. 

    Vinny got dropped on the play, but Fedotenko scored what turned out to be the game-winning goal. The Lightning won their first—and only—Stanley Cup in franchise history thanks to a trademark Lecavalier effort.

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