So much for Ben Bishop moving slowly merely because he’s super-tall.
Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper has been prone to swerves in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final, but this is the biggest one, as Bishop isn’t even dressing for Game 4. Instead, the Bolts will go with the young and difficult-to-spell pairing of Andrei Vasilevskiy as the starter and Kristers Gudlevskis as the backup.
The Lightning will only say that Bishop is day-to-day, not specifying his injury. If you’ve followed the postseason, you know injury updates only become transparent after a team’s run is over (if that).
Talk about a “no pressure, kid” situation. Vasilevskiy’s first career postseason start comes in a championship-round game against a Chicago Blackhawks team in an urgent situation.
On the bright side, he at least got his feet wet in this series in Game 2, nursing the Lightning to a win while we wondered if Bishop’s issues were toilet or injury-related. It sure looks like the latter; we’ll see if Tampa Bay provides any more information about Bishop going forward.
(Don’t hold your breath.)
It’s a scary situation for the Lightning, yet note that Vasilevskiy certainly has the pedigree to believe that he could provide pleasant surprises.
Here’s video of Cooper denying Bishop’s injury issues during an on-the-bench interview during Game 3, an explanation that remarkably becomes less convincing as time goes on: