Just when you think things couldn’t possibly get even more complicated, they do. Those of us who felt like Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop needed a short vacation before the playoffs are going to get what we wanted; unfortunately, it is under the completely wrong circumstances.
For those of you who may not have heard yet, Bishop left the game against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday night at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in the early moments of the game due to an Upper Body Injury.
At the 5:43 mark in the game, Bishop made a pretty acrobatic save. The problem is, unlike Kerri Strug, he didn’t quite stick the landing. When he came down, he came down pretty hard on his left wrist landing in what looked like a very uncomfortable position.
He lay near motionless on the ice for a few moments before he was evaluated by the Lightning’s Head Athletic Trainer Tom Mulligan. In the time he was being examined, the fans sat in the stands, most of them holding their breath to find out if the netminder was seriously injured.
Soon enough, he was helped to his feet by Lightning defenseman Eric Brewer, and with the help of Brewer and Mulligan, he made it off the ice and down the tunnel to the locker room. It was announced later in the game that he had sustained an Upper Body Injury and he would not be returning to the game.
This is definitely a huge blow to the Bolts, but not one that we cannot overcome. After Bishop was sidelined with the injury to his wrist, goaltender Anders Lindback took over for him between the pipes. The team rallied in front of Lindback, who put on quite the performance himself, earning the Lightning a 3-0 shutout over the Toronto Maple Leafs, and essentially eliminating them from playoff contention.
At this time, Bishop has not been ruled out for the first round of the playoffs; however, he will definitely sit the bench for the Lightning’s three remaining games in regulation.
The good news out of all of this, if there even is such a thing in an injury report, is that if the Tampa Bay Lightning continue to play the way that they did in the shutout against the Maple Leafs, with or without Ben Bishop, the Lightning will have a good chance of continuing on into the second round of the post season.
Absolutely nothing against Anders Lindback, or recently recalled backup goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis, who delivered a pretty spectacular performance himself during the Olympics, but the competition is going to double in the second round, no matter which team we may end up facing, and having your top two goaltenders healthy is always a bonus.
They did not specify the particular nature of Bishop’s injury, only that he will be re-evaluated next week to see what his status may be moving forward.
What do you think are Bishop’s chances of rejoining the team at the start of the post season? Do you think Lindback and Gudlevskis can hold down the fort in his place? What do you think are the keys to the Lightning starting off the post season right? Let us know what you think in the comments below?