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Lightning hope for a 50-30 split with Bishop, Vasilevskiy

Ben Bishop will start tonight's season opener against the Red Wings.

DIRK SHADD | Times

Ben Bishop will start tonight's season opener against the Red Wings.

13

October

As expected, goalie Ben Bishop will start tonight's season opener against the Red Wings.

He's the team's unquestioned No. 1 goalie, and will get a lion's share of the starts.

But this season, backup Andrei Vasilevskiy is likely to get a bigger chunk.

Coach Jon Cooper said today in an ideal world, Bishop could get around 50 starts, and Vasilevskiy 30. "If you could map it up it'd be unreal," Cooper said.

This accomplishes two things. It allows Bishop to remain fresh and healthy for what the Lightning hopes is a long playoff run. And it allows Vasilevskiy to stay sharp and maintain his development as a No. 1 in waiting.

Backups typically play in back-to-back situations, but there is only one of those in the first month of the season. Bishop said he's set a standard to start 60 games, which he has the past three seasons. But if everything goes as planned for Tampa Bay, Bishop might miss that mark this year.

"With every year, Vasy has gotten better and better and better," Cooper said. "Just got to keep getting these guys more games. Let's be honest, he's a big part of our team today and in the future."

 

[Last modified: Thursday, October 13, 2016 12:37pm]

    

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