The knock against the Tampa Bay Lightning trading for Ben Bishop* was that he’s only put up nice numbers in a small sample size. That same criticism can be lobbed at his great first game on Thursday night, but don’t blame the Bolts for feeling at least a little optimistic.
Bishop stopped all 45 shots as Tampa Bay dominated the Carolina Hurricanes 5-0. That 45-for-45 performance matches a franchise record for saves in a shutout, according to Damian Cristodero of the Tampa Bay Times.
This ties the two Southeast Division teams with identical 16-18-2 records for 34 points in 36 games.
Does that signal that the Lightning might be able to make an improbable run to a postseason birth or that they merely dragged the Hurricanes closer to the cellar with them? The answer’s unclear, but at least the Lightning can feel like they landed the potential goalie of the future.
(For at least one night.)
* Beyond giving up a promising young player in Cory Conacher, of course.
The Calgary Flames have released Ryan Wilson from his professional tryout.
The 28-year-old was trying to make a comeback after missing 79 games with a shoulder injury last season.
Even with T.J. Brodie sidelined because of a broken hand, Wilson still faced long odds to make the final roster.
The veteran will be hard-pressed to find NHL work with another team.
He hasn’t suited up in more than 12 regular season games since 2011-12.
The Stockton Heat, Calgary’s AHL affiliate, also made some news on Sunday.
The club announced that they’ve signed Colton Orr to an AHL contract.
The 33-year-old tough guy suited up in just one game for the Toronto Maple Leafs last season. He has 12 seasons of NHL experience under his belt.
The Arizona Coyotes have returned Dylan Strome to the Erie Otters of the OHL.
Strome, 18, was the third overall pick in the 2015 NHL draft.
The 6’3, 185 pounder was hoping to stick with the Coyotes this season, but the team decided to take the conservative approach with their top prospect.
Strome will look to build off an incredible junior season that saw him score 45 goals and 129 points in 68 games.
Strome seems to be taking the demotion in stride.
The team also announced that they’ve assigned goaltender Louis Domingue and forward Matthias Plachta to their AHL affiliate in Springfield.
Domingue, 23, had a 1-2-1 record with a 2.73 goals-against-average and a .911 save percentage in seven games last season.
Plachta, a free agent signing, will begin his first pro season in North America. The 24-year-old had 14 goals and 35 points in the German League last season.