Haas: Stellar Play Puts Ben Bishop In Sochi Mix
One of the perils of being born in a major hockey nation such as the United States is the path to the Olympics. Bonafide stars are not immune from being left off of the roster if they are battling an injury or experiencing a poor season. Even when completely healthy, a player may never even dream of making an Olympic roster despite being a solid NHL contributor. (Photo/Susan Ferlita)
Before this season, Ben Bishop was considered in that latter category. A solid goaltender, but not one with the talents of a megastar like Ryan Miller. Additionally, Bishop did not play very well when called upon in the 2013 World Championship (5 GP, 2.83 GAA, .876 save %) and was thoroughly outplayed by then 19 year old Ducks prospect John Gibson.
However, if Lightning fans know anything, it’s to expect the unexpected. Bishop was mentioned among the group of potential USA goalies for Sochi before the season, but there was not much reason to believe he would supplant one of the stars for a roster spot.
Here’s a quick look at the most mentioned names:
- Jonathan Quick – Injured for most of the season.
- Jimmy Howard – Currently injured and having a down year
- Craig Anderson – Having a down year.
- Tim Thomas – Struggling in Florida after taking a year off.
- Ben Bishop – Flourishing with Tampa Bay.
- Cory Schneider – Fantastic numbers in New Jersey.
- Ryan Miller – World class play, but awful stats on an awful Buffalo team.
Assuming Quick recovers from his injury and has time to get into some games prior to the Olympics, yours truly is predicting a three man squad of Ryan Miller, Jonathan Quick and Cory Schneider for between the pipes for Team USA. That being said, Bishop’s incredible season is certainly on the minds of Team USA’s executive team and it would not be an eye opener to see him as a “surprise” selection.
My personal rankings using the above players:
Ryan Miller, Jonathan Quick and Cory Schneider.
First injury replacements
Ben Bishop and Jimmy Howard.
Bus crash replacements
Craig Anderson and Tim Thomas.
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