Monday, December 18, 2017
Tampa Bay Lightning

Olympic door not fully shut on Lightning's Bishop

CALGARY — We do not know for sure if Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop will start tonight against the Flames at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

But wouldn't it be interesting to see Bishop face the team whose acting general manager, Brian Burke, was part of the selection committee that kept him off the U.S Olympic team?

"I did notice that," Bishop said of the coincidence of facing Calgary two days after the disappointing news.

Bishop, though, reiterated Thursday that having Los Angeles' Jonathan Quick, Buffalo's Ryan Miller and Detroit's Jimmy Howard selected ahead of him did not create any hard feelings.

There also isn't any sense directing his disappointment at one person who may or may not even be in the arena tonight. Better, Bishop said, to look at the big picture.

"It'd be nice to keep playing as well as I've been playing," he said, "and hope they regret it."

Bishop, 27, has been staunch for Tampa Bay. His 21 wins (21-5-3) entered Thursday tied for second in the league. His 1.89 goals-against average was fifth, his .935 save percentage was third and his three shutouts were tied for second.

The statistics are better than those of Quick, Miller and Howard. The red flag was a lack of experience, Bishop said he was told by Panthers general manager Dale Tallon, also a part of the selection committee.

But even with just 75 NHL games and zero playoff appearances, Bishop apparently was close enough that if a goalie cannot play — Quick and Howard have battled injuries this season — he could still be invited.

Bishop said Tallon also told him during their phone call: "Just keep playing well and you never know."

What we know about Bishop is he is good at letting go of disappointments. He spoke of a few years back expecting to be named to the AHL All-Star team only to go as a reserve. In 2011, he expected to make the Blues roster out of training camp but was sent back to AHL Peoria.

"Whatever doesn't kill you will make you stronger," Bishop said. "You've got to deal with it and just keep working hard."

Like Wednesday, when after hearing he had not made the Olympic team, he had 28 saves in a 4-2 win over the Canucks.

"Nobody can say Ben didn't lay it all on the line to make that team," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "He controlled everything he possibly could. What he's controlling here is a chance to play hockey in late April and May. If you ask Ben, would you rather be making a push for the Stanley Cup or playing in the Olympics, I think he'd say he'd rather be in the playoffs."

But come on, Bishop was asked, wouldn't he like the chance to show Burke what he and the selection committee missed?

"I've met Burkie a couple of times," Bishop said, not taking the bait. "I have a lot of respect for the guy. He's a great guy. It's one of those things. They had a tough decision. I tried to make it as hard as I could on them."

Tonight, Bishop said, would only be about making it hard on the Flames.

Comments
Lightning has goalie Peter Budaj’s back after near-collapse

Lightning has goalie Peter Budaj’s back after near-collapse

LAS VEGAS — After the Avalanche made a seemingly insurmountable Lightning lead shaky Saturday night, defenseman Victor Hedman was the first to skate toward backup goalie Peter Budaj and give an encouraging pat on the pads with his stick.Budaj’s stat ...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Joe Smith’s takeaways from Lightning-Avalanche

Could tell just how much Ryan Callahan meant in the Lightning dressing room by hearing teammates talk about his latest injury. Steven Stamkos said he was "sick to my stomach." Brayden Point called him a "heart and soul player." Teammates all saw how ...
Published: 12/16/17
Lightning journal: No easy answers on replacing injured Ryan Callahan

Lightning journal: No easy answers on replacing injured Ryan Callahan

The good news for the Lightning is that GM Steve Yzerman is hopeful RW Ryan Callahan will be ready to go in 3-4 weeks when his upper body injury is re-evaluated. The hard part, however, is finding someone to replace the veteran wing. "I don’t know if...
Published: 12/16/17
Lightning trying to replace ‘heart and soul’ Ryan Callahan

Lightning trying to replace ‘heart and soul’ Ryan Callahan

With veteran wing Ryan Callahan out at least 3-4 weeks with an upper body injury, the natural question is who will fill his shoes?"I don't know if anyone can," coach Jon Cooper said.That's not to say the Lightning (26-6-2) can't win without Callahan....
Published: 12/16/17
Q&A with Syracuse coach Benoit Groulx about the Lightning’s next generation

Q&A with Syracuse coach Benoit Groulx about the Lightning’s next generation

DENVER — There might be one team in hockey hotter than the Lightning.It is Tampa Bay’s AHL affiliate, Syracuse.The Crunch has won 10 straight after Friday’s victory over Providence. Why is this important? While the AHL is a developmental league, the ...
Published: 12/16/17
Ryan Callahan out at least 3-4 weeks for Lightning

Ryan Callahan out at least 3-4 weeks for Lightning

When Lightning wing Ryan Callahan took a nasty spill into the boards Thursday night, it didn't look good.Turns out, it wasn't. Callahan will be sidelined indefinitely with an upper body injury, evaluated after three to four weeks, per GM Steve Yzerma...
Published: 12/15/17
When you think you’ve got Brayden Point figured out, a surprise awaits

When you think you’ve got Brayden Point figured out, a surprise awaits

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Center Brayden Point is the Lightning’s calmest player, both on the ice and off, according to Victor Hedman.Point’s soft-spoken nature belies his baby face and 5-foot-10 frame. "I’ve never seen him angry before," Hedman said.That ma...
Published: 12/15/17
Ryan Callahan injury makes Lightning win ‘bittersweet’

Ryan Callahan injury makes Lightning win ‘bittersweet’

The Lightning's 4-1 victory over the Coyotes Thursday night still featured the usual post-game music in the dressing room.But there was more of a somber tone with veteran right wing Ryan Callahan's right arm in a sling. Callahan, who got hurt on a na...
Published: 12/15/17
Lightning routs Coyotes for sixth straight win

Lightning routs Coyotes for sixth straight win

GLENDALE, Ariz. — As much as the Lightning has been rolling, it remembered how it lost twice last season to the Coyotes.That included blowing a one-goal third-period lead at home down the stretch, with Tampa Bay missing the playoffs by a point."You l...
Published: 12/14/17
Updated: 12/15/17
Lightning’s Mikhail Sergachev earns more minutes, praise

Lightning’s Mikhail Sergachev earns more minutes, praise

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Coyotes center Clayton Keller is very familiar with fellow rookie Mikhail Sergachev, the dynamic Lightning defenseman. They both were top 10 picks in 2016, Keller at No. 7 and Sergachev No. 9 to Montreal. They faced each other in th...
Published: 12/14/17