When Andrei Vasilevskiy went down with an injury early in the season Tampa Bay Lightning fans and pundits around the league were left to wonder what would happen to the Eastern Conference contender and preseason Stanley Cup favorite in his absence. The answer is as of December 11th is nothing short of Doming-ate. . . That is due in large part to the man who filled the large hole left in net by Vasilevskiy, Louis Domingue.
Domingue was brought to Tampa in November of 2017 in exchange for Tye McGinn and goaltender Michael Leighton. With two other goalies on the roster (Peter Budaj who was traded to Los Angeles Kings in the offseason) Louis only saw 12 games for the Bolts in the 2017 season.
Since Vasilevskiy was injured Domingue has seen a lions share of the starts, playing in 18 games so far this season winning in 14 of those appearances. This is one win away from his career high in wins set in the 2015-2016 season with the Coyotes. The question becomes is it just the team in front of him? This writer would say no, while the Eastern conference juggernaut has rolled teams in front of him, Domingue has shown the potential Steve Yzerman believed he had when he traded Budaji.
The major difference to be seen in Domingue’s game while he doesn’t have the athleticism or flexibility Vasilevskiy does (honestly who does?), is Domingue has brought a confidence/willingness and ability to make key plays and play the puck forward (which Vasilevskiy is still improving on) to break fore checks and send the lethal Lightning attack forward.
While Domingue will lose the starters net once Vasilevskiy returns one thing is for certain don’t ever count out Louis Domingue.