Ben Bishop hasn’t just played the Tampa Bay Lightning into the conversation as one of the NHL’s top teams. He’s played his way into contention to play for the United States when the team heads over to Sochi to compete in the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Just this morning we wrote about how Bishop’s play had cemented him as the No. 1 goalie for the Lightning. Apparently he’s receiving even more attention from some pretty lofty perches. U.S. team manager David Poile spoke to the Tampa Bay Times about Bishop’s high level of play recently when asked if the goalie had a chance of making the squad:
Absolutely. He’s played terrific. He’s definitely on our radar…Especially for goalies, we need guys who are playing well this year. Certainly that favors somebody like Ben with how he’s playing.
This is good news for Bishop, who wasn’t invited to orientation camp after losing the starting gig during the World Championships over the summer. While his strong play out of the gate has put him back into the conversation, his competition for any sort of role on Team USA is stiff.
Rosters aren’t due in until January 1, and in the meantime he’ll have to outplay the likes of Jimmy Howard of the Detroit Red Wings, Ryan Miller of the Buffalo Sabres and Jonathan Quick, who is the odds-on favorite at this point and plays for the L.A. Kings.
No one has run away with the job yet. Quick is believed to be the front runner, but he hasn’t exactly set the league on fire with his play this year. Bishop has been stellar though. He has a 10-2 record, a 2,14 GAA and a strong .928 save percentage.
If Bishop hopes to lace up the skates in Sochi, he’ll need to continue to play just like he has for the Lightning.