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Tampa Bay Lightning Goaltending and Trade Deadline Acquisitions Report Card



The Tampa Bay Lightning recently concluded their 2023-24 NHL regular season, landing the fourth spot in the Atlantic Division. Despite a challenging start, the team surged in the later months, clinching the first Wild Card position for the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs in the Eastern Conference. They are set to face the Florida Panthers in the opening round.

Andrei Vasilevskiy, the standout netminder for the Lightning, faced setbacks this season after missing time due to back surgery. His return in December didn’t yield the anticipated results, with inconsistent performances marking his play throughout. Although considered one of the best goalies in the NHL, Vasilevskiy’s statistics painted a different picture in the 2023-24 season.

Jonas Johansson, a backup goalie, held the fort in Vasilevskiy’s absence, admirably filling in during the initial phase of the season. While his numbers didn’t dazzle, Johansson’s resilience earned him a commendable ‘C’ grade for his efforts. Though unlikely to see postseason action, his contributions might prove valuable in the team’s future.

The Lightning, led by General Manager Julien BriseBois, made strategic moves at the 2024 NHL Trade Deadline. Despite limited resources, they acquired Anthony Duclair and Matt Dumba. Duclair’s cost-effective addition proved to be a game-changer, seamlessly slotting into the top line alongside star players like Nikita Kucherov.

While Duclair’s impact was significant, Dumba’s acquisition didn’t yield the desired results. The pending free agent struggled to find his footing with the team, showcasing minimal offensive output and defensive shortcomings during his tenure. With players like Cal Foote and Mikhail Sergachev stepping up from the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch, Dumba’s role remains questionable moving forward.

Rachel Adams

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