The Lightning on Thursday had three players named to the initial group of 15 who will play for the United States at next month's world championship in Sweden and Finland: goaltender Ben Bishop, center Nate Thompson and defenseman Matt Carle.
"It's a very big honor," Bishop said. "Any time you can represent your country in anything it's a big honor, so I'm just excited for the opportunity."
Bishop, 26, played for the United States in the 2010 world championship but only played a period, stopping all five shots he faced.
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Interestingly, Bishop said he doesn't believe the experience will necessarily help him in his NHL career. "Just go over and play some hockey," he said. "It's more just a big honor to represent your country."
For more information on the United States team, go to this web site: http://mensworlds.usahockey.com/news_article/show/250359?referrer_id=780184
Other stuff from this morning: Defenseman Mathieu Roy, signed for the remainder of the season, finally joined the team. He is more likely to play in Saturday's finale against the Panthers as coach Jon Cooper said there will be no lineup changes for tonight's game with the Bruins. ... Defenseman Radko Gudas and right wing Richard Panik could be sent back to Syracuse after tonight's game. Cooper said that will depend on the Lightning's overall team health heading into Saturday. ... Left wing Ryan Malone will sit out again. ... Interesting listening to Gudas talk about his right ankle injury from Wednesday's game with the Maple Leafs. Gudas said the pain was intense after he tried to check Toronto's Joe Colborne late in the first period and the ankle folded up underneath him. Gudas said the pain ran from his ankle to his knee. But Gudas was back for the start of the second period and did not seem to have any limitations. He even scored the winning goal in the 5-2 victory. "I'm glad that I'm so flexible," Gudas said, and added, "It did scare me. I didn't know what to expect from it. It actually did look worse than it actually was." ... As you might expect, much talk again about the race for the points title between Marty St. Louis and Steven Stamkos. St. Louis enters tonight with 58 points, Stamkos 56. Stamkos' 29 goals also are two behind Washington's Alex Ovechkin for the league lead. Cooper said in his perfect world, St. Louis will take the points title and Stamkos the goals title. Either way, he said, the chase has given what would have been a dreary end to the season a bit of a spark. "They have a chance to look back in history and see their names in the record books," Cooper said. St. Louis, as usual, said there is no use talking about something until it happens. "I'm just trying to play the game and finish the year strong and not trying to think about it," he said. "You guys (reporters) are the ones reminding us. I'm just trying to go play the game. You try to control the things you can and see where the chips fall when they're done." ... St. Louis did have praise for captain Vinny Lecavalier, who gave up a sure goal into an empty net on Wednesday to feed St. Louis for his hat trick. "It didn't surprise me," St. Louis said. "It shows his personality. Vinny is a very unselfish player."