Bishop: Olympic team will be ‘on my mind quite a bit’ this week


In five days, USA Hockey will announce its roster for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia — a timeline Ben Bishop is all too aware of.

“It’d be a huge honor, something that nobody can take away from you,” Bishop told the Tampa Bay Times about the possibility of making Team USA. “It’d be pretty cool to say that you’re an Olympian.

“I’m just trying to play my best right now and make it a hard decision on them. [It’ll be] on my mind quite a bit.”

And so it should be, as no American goalie has seen his stock rise more this year than Bishop.

After a tough stretch with USA Hockey that saw him lose his No. 1 gig at the World Championships and fail to receive an invite to the summer orientation camp, Bishop has been one of the biggest surprises of the 2013-14 campaign, posting a 20-5-2 record while raking fifth in the NHL in GAA (1.93), fifth in save percentage (.935) and tied for first in shutouts, with three.

His inspired play led American GM David Poile to announce that Bishop was “absolutely” in he Team USA mix.

“He’s played terrific,” Poile said when asked about Bishop’s candidacy. “He’s definitely on our radar.”

The big x-factor will be if Bishop’s done enough in a small window of opportunity, given this is his first extended stretch as a starting netminder in the NHL.

Most pundits figure Jonathan Quick will be on the team and the No. 1 heading into Sochi, with the other spots remaining up for grabs between the likes of Bishop, Ryan Miller, Tim Thomas, Jimmy Howard and Cory Schneider.

Dropping like flies: Johnson, Killorn hurt in Bolts’ exhibition

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One
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You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.

We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.

“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.

These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.

Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.

It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.

Raffi Torres gets match penalty for being Raffi Torres

Raffi Torres

With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.

It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.

Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:

It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).

As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.

Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:

This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.

Update: Bullet dodged?