Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Ben Bishop admitted to the team website on Monday that his surgically repaired wrist isn’t quite 100 percent just yet.
The towering 27-year-old netminder indicated that the injury rehab isn’t really hampering his ability to get good practice reps in, which isn’t surprising considering the fact that it isn’t a lower-body issue.
It’s understandable that the Bolts might want Bishop to play meaningful games as soon as possible, yet it might be wise to take a cautious approach here, whether that means being careful in training camp or even the early part of the 2014-15 season.
While the Lightning were exposed badly without Bishop in being swept by the Montreal Canadiens in the 2014 postseason, the team enjoys superior options this time around. Disappointing goalie Anders Lindback is out of town in favor of veteran Evgeni Nabokov while Andrei Vasilevskiy stands as the potential other netminder of the future in Tampa Bay (with Kristers Gudlevskis possessing potential, as well).
The Lightning are hoping they have more than just options, too. Nabokov told the Lightning website that he hasn’t personally seen this kind of goalie depth since his early days with the San Jose Sharks.
“I think the talent is tremendous,” Nabokov said. “The only time I remember that I can compare that to was in San Jose when we had (Vesa) Toskala, (Miikka) Kiprusoff, (Johan) Hedberg and myself … But, now it’s a new generation, and everybody’s bigger and stronger.”
The Lightning’s future seems promising and Nabokov provides useful insurance, yet it still seems likely that the team’s goaltending hinges on Bishop proving his fantastic 2013-14 season was more than just a one-time thing. Coming in healthy would certainly increase those odds.