Bishop says work load not a problem as he prepares for Habs
When Ben Bishop takes the ice tonight at the Bell Centre against the Canadiens, it will be his eighth start for the Lightning since being acquired from the Senators. He will have sat out only one of Tampa Bay's nine games, but said the work load is not a problem.
"I feel good," he said. "I've been working quite a bit throughout the season so no big change. A little more travel but nothing I wasn't ready for."
Bishop, 26, is 2-3-1 in seven games (he was pulled after one period Sunday at Washington) with a 3.13 goals-against average a .916 save percentage.
The goals-against number is not great, but Bishop has allowed some goals off bad-luck deflections and bounces. The three goals he allowed on 20 shots in one period against the Capitals is deceiving as well as he kept the score from getting totally out of hand. As coach Jon Cooper put it, "If it wasn't for him, it would have been 7-0."
That's not to say Bishop hasn't had some blips. Andrew Ladd's goal that opened the scoring for the Jets in Tuesday's 4-3 shootout loss at Winnipeg should never have gone in.
"A couple weird bounces here and there but throughout the season you're going to get those bounces go against you," Bishop said. "It seems right when I got traded they were coming against us. You have to battle through it. The law of averages is going to balance itself out and soon you're getting those bounces for you."
Cooper certainly doesn't seem concerned.
"I can tell our team is different when he's in net," he said. "We play with a lot more confidence. No matter what happens, they know that a goaltender can bail them out. You can start with that. It's a great foundation going forward."
As for all the work Bishop is getting (which will continue if Anders Lindback doesn't make some progress with his high ankle sprain), Cooper added, "Getting to know his surroundings, getting to know me, getting to know our team, it's going to do nothing but benefit us in the future. He relishes the work load."
Other stuff from the morning skate: Forward Tom Pyatt skated with a read no-contact jersey. He has missed two games since taking a blow to the head Sunday from Sabres defenseman Mike Weber. Pyatt said the fuzzy memory he experienced right after the hit has gone away and he feels "pretty good." As for the hit, which was not penalized, Cooper said, basically, that's hockey. "Sometimes with the smaller guys, a bigger guy hits a smaller guy , stuff like that happens," he said. "I can't sit here and say I have a problem with it. It happened so fast. I'm sure the league looked at it and thought nothing of it, so Ican't argue with it." ... Lindback seemed to practice well and hard, but Cooper said he is not yet ready. ... Forward Alex Killorn has played at the Bell Centre before as a member of AHL Syracuse. But for a kid raised in Montreal, facing the Canadiens in an NHL game will be something else. "It's a team I watched growing up my whole childhood," Killorn said. "It's an unbelievable feeling. I'm so excited to play here. I played here with Syracuse and it was a good atmosphere, but it's so much different with a Canadiens team having a good year." ... Killorn, who played for years at Harvard, said he knew only one perosn who was affected by the terrorist bombing of the Boston Marathon, a buddy who ran in the race, was near the finish line and was "lightly burned" by the flash of the explosion. Killorn said his friend was taken to the hospital and released. "When you hear your friends were going to a bar that was right near there it has an effect because if I was at school I might have been in that area," Killorn said, and added about the people of Boston, "They're a strong, resilient group. I think they'll be fine." ... As you would expect, center Steven Stamkos was asked about being in contention for the Art Ross Trophy (points) and Rockey Richard Trophy (goals). "Any individual award is a little tainted when you don't get a chance to compete for the Stanley Cup," He said. "That's the award you seek every year, and everyone in this league seeks every year. So, when things don't go well for your team, it's not as sweet when you do something individually. It's not fun. You'd trade those trophies for a chance to win the Stanley Cup every year, and that mentality won't change." ... Goaltenders coach Frantz Jean, whose contract ends after this season, acknowledged he sees no reason he should not be able to work out a new deal. GM Steve Yzerman has said it is his intention to bring Jean back along with assistant coaches Dan Lacroix and Steve Thomas.