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Islanders: Andrei Vasilevskiy weakness is home ice

TAMPA, FLORIDA - JUNE 13: Andrei Vasilevskiy #88 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates in warm-ups prior to the game against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game One of the Stanley Cup Semifinals during the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Amalie Arena on June 13, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. The Islanders defeated the Lightning 2-1. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FLORIDA - JUNE 13: Andrei Vasilevskiy #88 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates in warm-ups prior to the game against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game One of the Stanley Cup Semifinals during the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Amalie Arena on June 13, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. The Islanders defeated the Lightning 2-1. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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Andrei Vasilevskiy is an excellent goalie. There’s no question about that. Going into this series with the Tampa Bay Lightning, the play of their goalie was a source of concern for the New York Islanders. The Bolts are stacked and have a Vezina winner and 2021 finalist between the pipes.

I know that the Vezina award is essentially given to the goalie with the most wins (which is ridiculous), but Vasilevskiy has been excellent yet again this year. His 18.2 goals saved above expected is the second-best mark in the NHL. That’s a problem for the quality vs. quantity approach the New York Islanders take.

Vasilevskiy is a great goalie and has been good in these playoffs. But if there’s a kink in his armor it’s actually playing at home.

New York Islanders should take note of Vasilevskiy’s home form

I didn’t stumble to this on my own. I have to thank NBC for that. During the Game 1 broadcast, they showed Vasilevskiy’s numbers at home in the playoffs and a 0.911SV% displayed stuck out to me. So I took a look at his home numbers and away numbers during the postseason.

And, look, I’m not saying Vasilevskiy is bad at home, but he hasn’t been nearly as good at home as he’s been on the road.

*GS>xGF = goals saved above expected
**Numbers are all strengths and from NaturalStatTrick

There’s a big difference between that home and away record for the Lightning goalie. Why that is exactly is a mystery? His regular-season numbers were quite the opposite based on where he played.

With 20 home games, Vasilevskiy held a 0.936SV%, 1.75GAA, and a +8.75GSAA. On the road, those numbers dropped to 0.916, 2.63 GAA, and a 4.85 GSAA in 22 games played.

What’s going on with Vasilevskiy is quite insular to these playoffs and something the Islanders have likely taken note of and will try to exploit.

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