Funny how we went into the Tampa Bay-Detroit series with all eyes on the Red Wings’ goaltending situation. After Petr Mrazek starred in Game 1, those eyes have suddenly turned their focus to the man in the Lightning net.
Suffice to say, Thursday was not a banner night for Ben Bishop. The 28-year-old — the same one who’s been called the Lightning’s “rock” — stopped just 11 of 14 shots in his NHL playoff debut, as the Bolts fell by a score of 3-2 despite outshooting the Wings 46-14.
“The first one, I didn’t see,” explained Bishop, per the Tampa Tribune. “The second one, I didn’t see. The third one, I take a step out to cut down the angle, and he cuts back to the middle and I’m trying to get back in the net.”
It was that third one, by Detroit’s Luke Glendening, that Bishop probably wanted back the most…
But hey, it was only one game.
“I thought the guys did a great job,” said Bishop. “Their goalie played well. We just didn’t get the bounces tonight. … If we play like that, we’ll win more games than we’ll lose.”
Some more AHL affiliation changes to pass along:
The Columbus Blue Jackets have reached a multi-year agreement with the Lake Erie (Cleveland) Monsters.
The Monsters were previously affiliated with the Colorado Avalanche, who today announced a five-year agreement with San Antonio Rampage.
Meanwhile, the Arizona Coyotes have reached a multi-year agreement with the Springfield Falcons.
The Falcons were previously aligned with the Blue Jackets, while the Coyotes were previously aligned with the Portland Pirates, who aligned last month with the Florida Panthers, who used to be aligned with the Rampage.
See? It’s easy.
Related: AHL announces new Pacific Division — who could go west next?
Remember how Gary Bettman said fans weren’t really interested in a CapGeek-style website?
Well, the commish is saying the same thing about a revised points system, i.e. three points for a win as opposed to the current two, or something along those lines.
“The media debates it a lot, but we don’t get a lot of negative feedback from fans,” Bettman told ESPN’s Craig Custance. “In fact, when you see the way the races played out and the importance of every game in the regular season, there are teams that wish they had a couple of points from October and November they would have liked to have down the stretch. The point system is working extraordinarily well.”
I wrote about a revamped points system here, but assuming you’re a fan you’re probably not interested in reading about it, so don’t bother.
The Philadelphia Flyers have fired head coach Craig Berube, the club announced today.
The news comes just two days after GM Ron Hextall said he wanted to think some more before making a decision on Berube. There was speculation that Hextall was waiting to see which coaches might become available to replace Berube, though Hextall denied that was the case.
The Flyers missed the playoffs this season by 14 points. They went 42-27-10 last season under Berube, fighting back to make the playoffs after Peter Laviolette was fired early on. Berube went 75-58-28 overall on the job.
The Flyers will start searching for a new head coach “immediately.”
Philadelphia joins Toronto and Buffalo as teams officially in need of new coaches. Expect to hear Mike Babcock’s name linked to all of them. And if the San Jose Sharks part ways with Todd McLellan, expect to hear his name too.
Berube’s dismissal also brings up the question of whether Flyers forward Vincent Lecavalier could return next season. The two men did not see eye-to-eye on how Lecavalier was used, with Lecavalier suggesting it had become impossible for the two to coexist.
Related: Three reasons to wonder if Babcock might pick the Flyers
The coach who’s been accused of providing too much information for his players to digest believes his team made things too complicated in last night’s loss to the Minnesota Wild.
“You really have to simplify your game in the playoffs,” St. Louis Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. “I thought when we didn’t get the shots through at the start, we started to play a very complicated game that made us at times look slow, and we were into the ‘make the next play’ rather than play it off the goalie and see what he’s got.”
We mostly mention this given what forward T.J. Oshie said a couple of weeks ago after a bad loss to Vancouver.
“I know we’re not (in the playoffs) yet, but there’s a lot of information going around, and guys are getting a little indecisive,” Oshie said. “I’m not sure what it looks like from up top, but I think guys aren’t really sticking with their gut and going with their first instinct.”
As Luke Thompson of FOX Sports Midwest wrote, Oshie’s comment was “as close to a direct repudiation of Hitchcock’s coaching philosophy as you’re likely to hear from his players.”
Granted, we could be looking at this too closely under the microscope. Then again, the St. Louis Blues are very much under the microscope in these playoffs, and they didn’t get off to a very good start last night.
Game 2 of the series goes tomorrow in St. Louis.