Andrei Vasilevskiy Makes Case for Goalie 'Mount Rushmore' as Lightning Sweep Panthers

Doric SamMay 24, 2022

TAMPA, FL - MAY 22: Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) warms up during the NHL Hockey game 3 of the 2nd round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs between Tampa Bay Lightning and the Florida Panthers  on May 22, 2022 at Amalie Arena in Tampa Florida (Photo by Andrew Bershaw /Icon_Sportswire)
Andrew Bershaw /Icon_Sportswire

The Tampa Bay Lightning eliminated the Florida Panthers from the postseason with a 2-0 win Monday to complete the second-round series sweep.

The star was Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy, who stopped 49 shots. The 27-year-old continued a stellar playoff run in which he hasn't allowed a third-period goal in six straight games.

Florida won the Presidents' Trophy this year as the team that scored the most points during the regular season. But against Vasilevskiy, the Panthers looked pedestrian, managing just three goals.

Much of the discussion online about the Lightning's win centered around Vasilevskiy and his place in NHL history after yet another special performance.

Nick Alberga @thegoldenmuzzy

Yeah, I'm ready to place Andrei Vasilevskiy on my Mount Rushmore of all-time <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NHL?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NHL</a> goaltenders.

Chris Meaney @chrismeaney

Andrei Vasilevskiy is making a case as one of the top goalies to ever play the game - right in front of our eyes. <br><br>Plante, Sawchuk, Dryden, Parent, Fuhr few other strong candidates. <a href="https://t.co/ZGYapPuJYU">https://t.co/ZGYapPuJYU</a>

Quinton Mayo @RealQuintonMayo

What a game from Andrei Vasilevski. My goodness that was an all time performance.

Paul Bissonnette @BizNasty2point0

Wow. Andrei Vasilevskiy. 3 goals allowed all series. He’s not human.

Antwan V. Staley @antwanstaley

Florida Panthers had a two man advantage with the goalie off the ice and still couldn’t score. Andrei Vasilevskiy has been incredible tonight

Jesse Granger @JesseGranger_

Florida was the highest scoring team in 27 years, and Andrei Vasilevskiy eliminated them with a casual 49-save shutout. <br><br>Monster

Nasher @TheNasher61

You play your best game, get 49 shots on net, and can’t bury one. Honestly how can you even be mad at that?<br><br>Vasy is just DIFFERENT.

Chris Krenn @Chris_Krenn

Going back to the start of the third period in the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Bolts?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Bolts</a> Game 6 OT win over Toronto, Andrei Vasilevskiy has stopped 179 of the last 183 shots he's faced for a ridiculous .978 save percentage. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FLAvsTBL?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FLAvsTBL</a>

Josh Dubow @JoshDubowAP

Fewest goals in a playoff series of 4+ games by team that led league in scoring in regular season in NHL history:<br>2022 Panthers: 3 in 4-game sweep by Lightning in 2nd round<br>2013 Penguins: 2 in 4-game sweep by Bruins in ECF

Robby Stanley @RStanleyNHL

The run the Tampa Bay Lightning have been on is simply incredible. They're going for three Cups in a row, which in this era of hockey is just borderline unbelievable. <br><br>Andrei Vasilevskiy is still the best goaltender in the world. I'm riding with them until proven otherwise.

The 2018-19 Vezina Trophy winner, Vasilevskiy had already made a strong case to go down as one of the best goalies ever to play in the NHL. He's helped lead Tampa Bay to back-to-back Stanley Cup championships in the last two years, winning the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2021 as the MVP of the postseason.

Vasilevskiy is also riding a streak of five straight seasons as the league leader in wins. He set the record for most victories in a single postseason with 18 in 2020.

The Lightning are attempting to continue a historic run as they chase their third consecutive Cup. With Vasilevskiy in the net, Tampa Bay will have a great chance to stop the Carolina Hurricanes or New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Final.