Ben Bishop ‘Thought His Eye Was Falling Out’ After High Stick Incident


Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop had the scare of a lifetime on Saturday night when he was struck in the face by the stick of San Jose Sharks center Tomas Hertl.

The Tampa Bay Lightning has suffered quite a bit this season when it comes to player injuries. A number of the Lightning’s key players have been forced to miss multiple games thanks to various injuries, but nothing could prepare the Tampa Bay Lightning for the horror waiting for them on Saturday night at the SAP Center in San Jose.

The Tampa Bay Lightning were leading a successful charge against the San Jose Sharks when tragedy struck. In the third period of play, Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop took a rather disturbing high stick to the face, which with right through the slats of his goaltending mask and struck him in the eye.

Those of you who stayed up late to watch the game are already painfully aware that Bishop went down on the ice like a ton of bricks. Personally, we can’t imagine the horrific things that must have been racing through Bishop’s mind when the pain set in and he realized where he’s been hit.

According to Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune, Bishop was in a terrible state as he “thought his eye was falling out.” As you can imagine, aside from the personal difficulties this would have on his life, this is definitely not something a goaltender can manage and still be able to protect back of the net from the puck.

The good news is, after the game Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos informed the media that Bishop was in good spirits and “seemed okay” after the eye scare. According to Erlendsson, Bishop has a red mark at the corner of his right eye and a red spot on his eye, but thankfully his vision returned to normal later that night.

RELATED: Ben Bishop Leaves Game Against Sharks With Upper Body Injury (Video)

Ben Bishop was okay enough to make his return to the ice on Sunday night when he was brought in late in the second period in relief of Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy when Tampa Bay Lightning Head Coach Jon Cooper made the call in what Cooper described to Tampa Bay Times Staff Writer Joe Smith as an attempt to create a spark. Unfortunately, this is not what would come to pass.

Erlendsson also notes Ben Bishop will have a follow-up with an optometrist back home in Tampa, but he is confident he will be good to go on Thursday night as the Tampa Bay Lightning take on the Ottawa Senators on Thursday night.

There are no words which accurately describe how relieving it is to hear something like this. While we have full faith Andrei Vasilevskiy has what it takes to hold down the fort in Bishop’s absence, it is never a good feeling to have when one of your key players is injured. Not to mention, had Bishop’s injury been slightly more severe, it could have potentially been a career ender for the twenty nine year old netminder.

RELATED: Lightning Captain Steven Stamkos Says Bishop “Seems Okay” After Injury

This would be a terrible loss for the Tampa Bay Lightning had this injury been more severe in nature. Bishop has been fairly solid for the Bolts this season, going 11-8-2 so far this season with a Goals Allowed Average of 2.00 and a Save Percentage of .929.

As we mentioned before, there is no guarantee Bishop will be in the lineup on Thursday night as the Tampa Bay Lightning take on his former team, the Ottawa Senators, but we are definitely optimistic based on the fact he has seen some ice time between the initial injury and now. There is a lot of time in between now and the team’s matchup on Thursday night. We’ll have to wait and see how things pan out.

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