The Tampa Bay Lightning have been lighting the lamp as of late, but it’s their goaltender, Ben Bishop, that has been carrying the torch. On their way to gaining the sole lead in the league with 39 points (18-6-3), the Bolts’ have riddled opposing goalies and made them look like slices of Swiss cheese.
The Bolts’ offense is simply outstanding thus far as they’ve forced 96 goals in 27 games, an average of 3.56 per game – both tops in the league. Calgary, to most people’s surprise, and Toronto are the next teams back with 84, but the Flames have done it in the same amount of games as the Lightning and the Leafs have played two fewer – the Leafs are averaging the second most with 3.36 goals per game.
Ben Bishop: The Torch Bearer
He’s unstoppable. He’s untouchable. He’s … OK, he’s on a roll, but he doesn’t seem to be slowing anytime soon. I recently allotted him the Lightning’s number one star of November and he’s continued his dominance into December. In his last five appearances the 6’7” goaltender – tallest goalie to ever play in the NHL – is 5-0-0 with a 1.60 goals against average and a .937 save percentage. In that timeframe he had one shutout, granted it was a 13 save effort against the Buffalo Sabres, but a shutout is a shutout.
Extending outside of his five-game run, he’s 16-3-2 on the year with a 2.20 GAA and .919 SV%. His showing at home is nothing short of spectacular either. He’s 11-1-1 with a 1.91 GAA and .928 SV% in the Amalie Arena.
It’s tough to find yourself deep down in the standings when you’re averaging 3.56 goals per game, but even if their offense takes a dip they’ll still have big Ben Bishop behind them to save the day.
Jarrod Heil attends the University of Central Florida where he is studying journalism and writing & rhetoric. Also, he’s a staff writer for the college’s student-run newspaper which is affiliated with Gannett Company, Inc.