Backup or not, Ben Bishop benefits from World Cup
Lightning goalie Ben Bishop has played just two exhibition periods for Team USA in the World Cup of Hockey, and will likely remain the backup Thursday as the Americans face elimination against host and favorite Canada.
But Bishop, 29, a two-time Vezina Trophy finalist, understands the situation, with two-time Stanley Cup winner and former Olympian Jonathan Quick (Kings) the No. 1.
"You try to go out there and play the best you can and make it tough on the coaches, and obviously they made their decision," Bishop said. "(Quick) is one of the best in the world so you're not going to argue with anything like that."
Bishop said he's still gained a lot from the experience, facing the likes of MVP Patrick Kane in practice. "You've got to be sharp or they're going to make you look silly," he said.
And, more importantly, Bishop is encouraged with how his ankle has held up after spraining ligaments in the Eastern Conference Final.
"Everything feels pretty good," Bishop said. "I'm ready to go."
If the Americans lose Tuesday and are eliminated, they still have one more game left in group play, Thursday against the Czech Republic. Players get a few days off before having to report to NHL training camps, but Bishop feels he's ahead of schedule.
"Practices here are very intense," Bishop said. "(In the NHL), you've got training camp and work your way up. When you start at the top level, I think when I get back, get a game or two and probably be ready to go. Because in (Team USA) practices, you're not going to find many better shooters all around. Not any time off in practice."