It wasn’t that long ago that Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman was pursuing goalie after goalie, hoping that one of the promising, but largely inexperienced netminders he got would be capable of running away with the starting gig.
Enter Ben Bishop, who had some impressive AHL campaigns to his name and was solid with limited playing time in Ottawa. Yzerman gave up Cory Conacher, who was having a great rookie campaign, and a fourth rounder in April 2013 to get him and he’s proven to be a steal at that price.
The 27-year-old goaltender made his mark on the Lightning history books last night when he posted a 23-save shutout over the New Jersey Devils, earning his franchise record breaking 31st victory of the season.
“It’s special,” Bishop told NHL.com. “It’s something I don’t really stop and think about right now; maybe at the end of the season. We’ve got some games left, so hopefully I can add to that. It’s a team thing; the guys in front of me, I wouldn’t be here without them.”
There’s no doubt that wins are a team stat, but Bishop earned this record. He’s been one of the best goaltenders this season and has helped keep Tampa Bay afloat through Steven Stamkos’ recovery from a broken tibia.
The shutout was his fifth of the season, which puts him in a three-way tie for second place among the franchise’s top single-season performances. Nikolai Khabibulin holds the record with seven.
For those who decry the decline in fighting – in “blood and guts” hockey – Tuesday presented a bloody moment, one fairly high on this season’s Muta scale.
Also, for some, seeing it happen to Tom Wilson specifically may provide additional pleasure.
Anyway, as you can see in the video above, Minnesota Wild winger Chris Stewart bloodied the Washington Capitals pest in a fight. Whether you’re for, against or neutral toward Wilson, it’s quite the sight.
Wilson may be hurt, by the way. He missed some time but returned later in the contest.
Auston Matthews likely ranks as the top reason that many Toronto Maple Leafs are starting to get the same feelings they had in better times, so it only makes sense that he broke a beloved Buds’ record on Tuesday.
With his 35th goal of a potential Calder season – but a brilliant debut either way – Matthews passed Wendel Clark for the Maple Leafs’ rookie record for goals in a season.
That goal was also meaningful for William Nylander, as he extended his point streak to 12 games with an assist. This team, fueled by young players, just keeps shattering first-year marks:
Leafs rookie record watch:
GOALS – 35 Matthews ASSISTS – 40 Marner tied with Bodnar POINT STREAK – 12 games Nylander SHG – 3 Hyman
The U.S. women’s national team voted in favor of accepting USA Hockey’s deal, so they’ll participate in the world championship tournament. USA Hockey recently made the news official with this press release.
The press release confirmed a report that the contract will last four years, while financial terms were kept confidential. (Team members had been seeking a living wage to represent USA Hockey.)
“Our sport is the big winner today,” Team captain Meghan Duggan said. “We stood up for what we thought was right and USA Hockey’s leadership listened. In the end, both sides came together. I’m proud of my teammates and can’t thank everyone who supported us enough. It’s time now to turn the page. We can’t wait to play in the World Championship later this week in front of our fans as we try and defend our gold medal.”