TAMPA — Another day, another series of questions left unanswered.
In what’s become the biggest story — or, as some have started to suggest, sideshow — of the Stanley Cup Final, the Tampa Bay Lightning were once again mum on who their starting goalie would be as both Jon Cooper and Ben Bishop met with reporters prior to tonight’s Game 5 at Amalie Arena.
Cooper’s media availability lasted less than 30 seconds, and was comprised solely of this remark:
Q. Do you expect Bishop to be available tonight?
COACH COOPER: I don’t know. To be honest, I didn’t see him since he got off the ice. I’m hoping. I hope I have a decision to make between him and Andrei [Vasilevskiy], that would be great.
Boom. Mic drop.
Bishop then took to the podium, much like he did prior to Game 3, a tilt in which he both started and stopped 36 shots en route to a 3-2 win.
The NHL’s tallest netminder said that while sitting out Game 4 was brutal and that “progress” was being made on his undisclosed ailment, he couldn’t say whether he’d be back in goal tonight.
“It’s terrible,” Bishop said of Thursday’s game. “I was more nervous for that game I’m not playing than for any game. I thought Vasi came in and did a great job. He did everything he needed to do. I thought he played a great game. We had a chance to win that game.”
Bishop then said he expected to meet with Cooper later today to figure out if he’ll play or not — or, presumably, if he’ll even dress. It was little-used Latvian Kristers Gudlevskis that donned the gear as Vasilevskiy’s backup for Game 4, forcing Bishop to watch in a suit and tie.