Ben Bishop wasn’t one of the six goalies invited to August’s U.S. Olympic orientation camp, but that doesn’t mean he won’t have a shot at going to Sochi.
Bishop, the NHL’s tallest netminder, has played himself into Team USA consideration with a banner start to the year, according to American GM David Poile.
“Absolutely,” Poile told the Tampa Bay Times about Bishop being in the mix. “He’s played terrific. He’s definitely on our radar.”
Bishop, 26, currently sits tied for first in the NHL in wins (10) and is tops among American goalies in GAA (2.14) and save percentage (.928). His great start has come as a surprise to many, probably none more than the orientation camp selection committee, who bypassed Bishop in favor of Jonathan Quick, Ryan Miller, Jimmy Howard, Cory Schneider, Craig Anderson and Anaheim prospect John Gibson.
(The Gibson inclusion was interesting because he actually took the No. 1 gig away from Bishop at the 2013 World Hockey Championships and went on to star, backstopping the Americans to bronze.)
It sounds as though Poile’s not just paying the 6-foot-7 Bishop lip service, either. The Nashville GM said that a player’s current form will go a long way in the selection process. Nowhere is that more relevant than in goal, where a hot netminder can essentially win you the tournament.
“Especially for goalies, we need guys who are playing well this year,” Poile said. “Certainly that favors somebody like Ben with how he’s playing.”