No huge surprise, but now it’s starting to sound official — per CBC and the Toronto Sun, the Lightning have ruled out No. 1 goalie Ben Bishop for the opening game of their first-round series with Montreal.
In Bishop’s place, Anders Lindback — the NHL’s reigning first star of the week — will get the nod.
Despite Lindback’s solid play last week, the Bolts must still be concerned about going into the series without arguably their MVP this season. Bishop was the one constant throughout the campaign, providing solid netminding while Steve Stamkos was sidelined with a broken leg and following the tumultuous Martin St. Louis saga.
Overall, Bishop’s numbers on the year are Vezina-worthy: 37-14-7 (4th in the NHL in wins), 2.23 GAA (7th), .924 save percentage (7th) and five shutouts (5th). Lindback, meanwhile, had just eight wins in 23 appearances this season and had a sub-.900 save percentage…though he does feel his game is rounding into form at the right time.
“I think I’m way more patient, I’m way more compact and I don’t open up as I’ve been doing this season,’’ Lindback told the Tampa Tribune. “I feel like I’m more consistent. And everything I do out there, it’s something I’ve been trying to work on and it’s been paying off the last couple of games here.
“So, it’s just now trying to keep pushing it and get better, and it’s time to take it to another level.’’
Derek Roy has finally found work — but it’s not in the NHL.
Roy, who spent the entire preseason in Washington’s camp on a PTO, has signed with SC Bern of Switzerland’s National League A, the club announced on Friday.
The news comes after Roy narrowly missed out on making the Caps roster, and just one year after he had something of a bounce-back campaign in Edmonton, scoring 22 points in 46 games while developing chemistry with young winger Nail Yakupov.
A 12-year NHL veteran, Roy is one of the more prominent names to be squeezed out of work this season, and head overseas. The 31-year-old has scored over 500 points in 738 career contests, and has twice represented Canada at the World Hockey Championships.
With Bern, Roy will play on one of Switzerland’s stronger teams, alongside a trio of ex-NHLers: Chuck Kobasew, Andrew Ebbett and Cory Conacher.
Robin Lehner might not be back anytime soon.
Making his debut with the Buffalo Sabres, the 24-year-old goaltender couldn’t complete Thursday’s game against his former squad, the Ottawa Senators, due to what has now been revealed to be a right leg injury.
When he left the arena, he was wearing a walking boot on that nearly went up to his knee.
“It doesn’t look like it’s short term,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma told the Buffalo News. “It’s more than day-to-day at this point, but we need to evaluate further.”
It’s a rocky start to what’s an important campaign for Lehner. He has been given an opportunity to demonstrate that he’s ready to be a starting goaltender after being acquired by the Sabres over the summer, but it looks like that will have to be postponed.
While he’s sidelined, Chad Johnson is likely to be leaned on heavily.