Friday, 19 June 2015

I don't like Ben Bishop, Part III, or IV, or V, ...

I don't like Ben Bishop.  I don't like that he flops and dives and acts like he's been snipered every time someone brushes by him.  I don't like his ungainly style, how he's more big than good as a goalie.

I don't like that he eliminated the Canadiens in these playoffs.

And I still wonder why Tampa kept Ben Bishop in goal while he suffered with a groin tear. You have to tip your hat to the guy for being courageous and wanting to stay in, but to flip it around, the real courageous thing nowadays would have been to say “No mas!” and step aside for a healthy teammate.

This is a situation like a baseball manager going to the mound and asking his starter if he thinks he should stay in, if he can get the next guy out and get out of the inning. Any pitcher will say yes. You wouldn’t want to have the pitcher who looks down at his feet and mutters “Gee, I don’t know…”

This is why the manager makes the decision for the pitcher, takes him off the hook. “Good job Smitty. Your curve didn’t bite today, you’ll get them next time.” And then he takes the ball off him and gives him a slap on the butt, sends him to the showers.

Even though the backup goalie is a rookie, he’s a talented one, and he could actually move, get up if he dropped down to the ice to make a save. He’d have given them a greater chance to win. Maybe this was a case where the coach thought that the emotional boost the rest of the team received would outweigh the loss in performance in nets.

And I have to wonder if this isn’t another indictment of Mr. Bishop skills as a goalie. Hobbled by a groin tear, unable to push off and go side to side, hesitant to drop into a butterfly to aggravate the injury, fearful of the pain, the Lightning still thought he could be effective.

“Well, he’s still 6’7″, he still covers a lot of the net…”

Ben Bishop’s great size, all that padding swaddling him, is still his biggest attribute. He’s not necessarily cat-quick or agile or good with the glove, but he is effective, a challenge to opposition shooters.

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