Ben Bishop has undoubtedly been team MVP for the Tampa Bay Lightning. With All-World sniper Steven Stamkos on the shelf, the netminder has had to stand on his head occasionally for Tampa, and that fact hasn’t been lost on the group that has been charged with putting together Team USA for the 2014 Winter Olympics.
His overall record stands at an astounding 20-5-2 and Bishop has proven that he has the ability to stand tall when the pressure is on. He is fifth or better among league leaders in all statistical categories, and has helped the Lightning climb all the way to third place in the Eastern Conference.
Bishop spoke to Joe Smith of The Tampa Bay Times about his Olympic aspirations recently:
It’d be a huge honor, something that nobody can take away from you. It’d be pretty cool to say that you’re an Olympian. I’m just trying to play my best right now and make it a hard decision on them… For me, I’ve got to play well (with the Lightning) to make that team.
The competition to be one of the three netminder’s the US take to Sochi has been interesting. Craig Anderson hasn’t played well, Jimmy Howard hasn’t played well and has been hurt, and several other candidates who were invited to the team’s camp over the summer haven’t stood out as expected.
It’s almost a given that Ryan Miller will go at this point. There’s little reason to believe that Bishop will be left at home though, given that team managers typically take players that have been playing well recently, as opposed to those who have played well in the past.