Saturday, March 9, 2019

Vincent Lecavalier Swatch Card

Vincent Lecavalier's name is all over the Tampa Bay Lightning's record book: most career goals (383), second in career assists (491) and points (874), the team's longest-serving captain (6 seasons) and up until tonight, its single-season points leader (108).

Nikita Kucherov's season for the ages, however, has now put the latter in the past, as he's now at 110 points with 13 more games to go in the regular season. This marks Kucherov's second-consecutive 100-point season, and he's been so impressive that he's rendered offensive stars like Steven Stamkos, Tyler Johnson and Brayden Point mere afterthoughts.

Then again, Tampa's so strong this season that both of its goalies - Andrei Vasilevskiy and Louis Domingue - have each had 10-game winning streaks this year. Of course, they're playing behind what is by far the best defense in the league in Norris winner Victor Hedman, All-Star Ryan McDonagh, potential future Norris winner Mikhail Sergachev, Anton Stralman, Braydon Coburn, and Dan Girardi. Any of the first four could be a first-unit player on any other team.

The Bolts are even more balanced than in Lecavalier's heyday, when he was surrounded by the likes of Hall of Famers Martin St-Louis and Dave Andreychuk, Brad Richards, Fredrik Modin, Cory Stillman, and Ruslan Fedotenko up front, Dan Boyle, Pavel Kubina, Cory Sarich and Jassen Cullimore out back, and "The Bulin Wall" Nikolai Khabibulin in nets. Some of those guys were extremely talented, and they did win the 2004 Stanley Cup, but they don't stack up against the All-World talent on this year's team, which was the fourth-fastest of all time to reach 100 points (although, of course, this warrants the asterisk for happening in the shootout era where there are no longer tied games).

Here is Lecavalier, sporting the captain's "C" on the Bolts' alternate jersey from last decade, on card #1 from Panini's 2011-12 Titanium set and Game-Worn Gear sub-set:
It features a black swatch that is more likely to be from the Lightning's black (away) uniform. I'd like to note that I like this jersey a lot better than the team's current alternate, the "Black Ice" uniform:
Urgh. Tampa Bay's batting average for jerseys is among the worst in the league with the Buffalo Sabres.

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