Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning Nuts & Bolts: Bishop's Rams tweet makes him a Twitter star

Short shift: w/RW Nikita Kucherov

Favorite restaurant in Tampa: Ocean Prime or Sushi Bar.

Go-to mall store: Louis Vuitton.

Hockey idol growing up: Pavel Bure at first, then Pavel Datsyuk. That was an amazing feeling playing against (Datsyuk) in the first round (of last season's playoffs against Detroit), just being on the bench and seeing what he does and how easy it looks when he has the puck.

Most prized signed stick: (Steven Stamkos) gave me one last year.

Must-watch TV show: The Walking Dead.

Most powerful tweet

Lightning goalie Ben Bishop doesn't often post things on his @benbishop30 Twitter account.

But when he did Tuesday, it went viral.

Bishop, who grew up in St. Louis a big Rams fan, went to Twitter after the Lightning's 4-0 shutout of the Avalanche to voice his displeasure about the news that the Rams are moving to Los Angeles. Bishop noted that Rams owner Stan Kroenke also owns the Avalanche.

Bishop tweeted to his 48,000 followers: "Feels good to shutout Kroenke's hockey team the day he moves my childhood football team! Sad day for Rams fans!!"

The tweet ended up landing on sports websites all over the United States and Canada. At one point it had 4,400 retweets and 6,300 likes, no doubt many from his hometown.

"I didn't know it'd get that much traction," Bishop said. "It (stunk), too, because before I went to the rink (in Colorado), it was a 5-1 vote saying (the Rams) were going to stay. So when I went to the rink, I was all jacked up they were going to stay. And after, they're like, 'Oh, they're moving to L.A.' I'm like, 'What?' At least I was able to kind of do something about it.

"I should tweet more often."

The 500 club

Captain Steven Stamkos was watching on TV last Sunday when the Capitals' Alex Ovechkin scored his 500th career goal, becoming the fifth fastest player to accomplish the feat.

"It's pretty impressive," Stamkos said. "And he's still got a lot of good hockey left. It's going to be interesting to see what he finishes off with, but a special moment, for sure."

Stamkos, who has 296 career goals, likely will have a shot at cracking 500 as long as he stays healthy.

"You hope to get there one day, for sure," Stamkos said. "You hope you can play in this league for a lot more years and have some success. I think when you think about the best goal scorers in the game, 500 is a pretty exclusive club. That's definitely a special number."

But Stamkos said the milestone will become "tougher and tougher" to reach in an era in which scoring is at an historic low.

"You're not going to see it that often," Lightning assistant coach Steve Thomas said of 500 goals.

Thomas, who scored 421 career goals, said goaltenders are so much better now and every team plays a structured game, making 500 more elusive.

"I think scoring 500 goals in this league is part of the formula in getting into the Hall of Fame," Thomas said. "You score 500 goals, get 1,000 points, win a (Stanley) Cup or two. As a forward and a goal scorer, 500 is a great number. (Ovechkin) should be proud of himself. He's well earned his way to a Hall of Fame career, that's for sure."

Thomas admires Ovechkin's athleticism and strength for his size (6 feet 3, 239 pounds), as well as his "unreal shot."

"He reminds me a lot of the way Brett Hull played," Thomas said.

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