It turns out that Ben Bishop did not have to poop. In the traditional post-playoff reveal of injuries, the Lightning announced that their goaltender’s mysterious ailment, which kept him off the ice for a full game and parts of another, was a partially torn groin muscle.
“I couldn’t move,” Bishop said. “It was one of those things where if I went out there, I could have torn it completely and I would have been done for the series.”
Bishop was injured in the second period of Game 2, stopping a shot by Brad Richards. This appears to be it, though there’s no visual indication it was anything out of the ordinary.
(The Lightning also revealed that Tyler Johnson, the team’s leading scorer through the first three rounds, suffered a broken right wrist in Game 1.)
Bishop said that had it been the regular season, his injury would have needed two weeks to recover. And while he’s not expected to require surgery, it was painful to watch him go side to side or pick himself up off the ice. That Bishop was able to play Games 3, 5, and 6, and give up just two goals in each, is nothing short of impressive.
I haven’t been entirely sold on Bishop as a franchise goaltender, but the numbers speak for themselves. He recorded more shutouts than anyone in this postseason, and his .921 save percentage (just .003 behind Corey Crawford) was the fourth-highest of any netminder who started at least eight playoff games. And that’s with three-plus games with a gimpy groin. These Lightning are young, and they can score, and they boast maybe the best defensive pairing in all of hockey. After a superb run that fell two games short, I think it’s fair to say that you can win a Stanley Cup with Ben Bishop.