Jon Cooper Offers New Vasilevskiy Update

The Tampa Bay Lightning have been holding their own without their workhorse goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy through the first 11 games this season. But today, head coach Jon Cooper delivered even more good news:

Cooper says the star goalie’s recovery and rehab from September back surgery are going well, and he expects him back around U.S. Thanksgiving — just over two weeks away. In fact, he's so confident in that timeline that he added, "I'll be disappointed if it's early December."

That's taking nothing away from Jonas Johannson, however, who has stepped up admirably in his first real run as a starting goalie in the league. Through nine starts, he's sporting a 5-1-3 record with a 2.87 goals against and a .916 save percentage, both impressive marks. Can't really say the same for backup Matt Tomkins, but he's only had to play two games thus far. 

The thing is, Johansson is fast approaching his high-water mark in NHL starts in any single season throughout his career, having topped the 11-game mark only once, in 2021-22, with a high of 15 starts the season before. 

Vasilevskiy has played 60 games in each of the last two seasons. 

Overall, the Bolts remain in the Top 10 in the league in SV%,  at .912. But the return of their two-time Stanley Cup champ and former Vezina Trophy winner will be a welcome sight for the team. 

Photo: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports