This article is part of our Crashing the Crease series.
It's the circle of life: Every year, some goalies get old or bad, and other ones (usually younger ones) step into their places. A couple franchises are showing pretty clear indicators that they're willing to be convinced into changing the guard in net, but this has been a bit of a funny year in that regard; aside from some changes necessitated by injuries, we haven't seen many major shifts on depth charts or in playing time.
There are two franchises, however, where the situation is fluid and that change could be coming – if only the young netminders would grab hold of the opportunities presented to them.
Lightning starter Ben Bishop is on the last year of his contract, but so far, he hasn't looked like he's playing for a new one – the lanky 30-year-old owns ugly ratios (3.04 GAA, .902 save percentage) and doesn't even have a winning record despite playing behind the league's seventh-best offense (2.90 goals per game). That's spectacularly short of what we've seen from his 22-year-old backup, Andrei Vasilevskiy, who got off to an incredible start with a 6-1-1 record, 1.50 GAA and .951 save percentage over his first eight outings. However, just when the Bolts looked to be reaching peak frustration with Bishop, Vasilevskiy delivered a clunker, taking a five-goal thrashing at the hands of Columbus on Tuesday. Even after that, his numbers are still light years better than Bishop's, but it still feels like the young Russian blew a major opportunity