When you think of the upper echelon goalies in the NHL, names like Price, Lundqvist and Holtby immediately come to mind, but according to legendary goaltender (now Blues assistant GM) Martin Brodeur, Ben Bishop deserves to be in that category too.
“He’s a fun goalie to watch,” said Brodeur, per the Tampa Bay Times. “I’m always a big fan of the goalie that is really active playing the puck and making plays.
“He’s been around for a long time now. I think you need to play on good teams to be recognized as one of the good goalies, and in Tampa Bay, they’re building the continuity of success year in and year out, and he’s part of it.”
Brodeur knows a thing or two about goaltending. The long-time New Jersey Devil won 691 games, posted 125 shutouts, won three Stanley Cups and four Vezina Trophies in his illustrious career.
Although Bishop started having success just a couple of seasons ago, there’s no doubt that he’s a huge part of what the Lightning are building.
“It shows you put in a lot of work to get where you are,” Bishop said of being a late bloomer in the NHL. “Sometimes you go that way. Some guys come straight here. Everyone has a different road. You just try to make the most of it. I’ve had a lot of fun along the way. A lot of people helped me.”
In ’13-14, the 29-year-old established himself as Tampa Bay’s number one goaltender. He won 37 games, but missed the playoffs due to injury.
The result? The Bolts were swept in the first round by the Montreal Canadiens.
Last season, Bishop won 40 games, and helped carry his team to the Stanley Cup finals.
In 2015-16, the Lightning got off to a rocky start, but have since been able to turn things around. How were they able to stick around in the Eastern Conference playoff picture when they couldn’t find the back of the net? Ben Bishop.
Bishop owns the second best goals-against-average in the league (2.02) and his .926 save percentage ranks sixth among goalies who have played 30 games or more.