‘They had a tough decision’: Ben Bishop left off U.S. Olympic team

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Click on the ‘League Leaders’ link of the NHL statistics online page, and you’ll see Ben Bishop of the Tampa Bay Lightning near the top of most major categories for goalies.

That includes wins (Bishop is third among all NHL goalies with 21); shutouts (he’s in an eight-way tie for second with three); save percentage (he’s second at .935); and goals-against average (he’s fourth with 1.89).

But he’ll have to wait for another chance to play for the U.S. in men’s hockey at the Olympics.

Bishop was left off the U.S. Olympic hockey team, with the roster being announced Wednesday following the 2014 Winter Classic.

Those tasked with selecting the team went with Jimmy Howard, Ryan Miller and Jonathan Quick as its three goalies for Sochi. If nothing else, Bishop got himself into the conversation, given the standout season he is having with the Lightning.

“As much as I wish I was on that team, you can understand why they went with those guys. They had a tough decision, and I tried to make it as hard as I could on them,” Bishop told the Tampa Bay Tribune.

“I probably wasn’t even on much of their radar at the beginning of the season, and it came down to the last guy between Howard and I, so they went with the guy that has a little more experience. And with that being said, some guys are still hurt, you never now what is going to happen.”