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Yzerman optimistic despite Bishop’s struggles at Worlds

Jun 5, 2013, 12:32 PM EDT

benbishopgetty Getty Images

There were a few eyebrows raised when Tampa Bay goalie Ben Bishop — the lone NHL netminder on Team USA’s entry at the World Hockey Championships — lost his starting job to 19-year-old John Gibson midway through the tournament.

There were more raised when Bishop failed to win it back, and spent the remainder of the tourney as a backup.

One person trying to put a positive spin on the situation, though, was Bishop’s GM — Steve Yzerman.

“You can take a positive approach to every situation you go to and learn from it and benefit from it,” Yzerman told the Tampa Bay Times. “It’s good for him.

“[Bishop] hasn’t played a ton and the more things you can experience — obviously, we all hope things go well — but you can learn a lot when they don’t go as well and be better for it.”

Bishop went 3-2-0 in the tourney with a 2.83 GAA and .876 save percentage. Those sub par numbers were exacerbated in a game against Slovakia where a pair of gaffes — a puckhandling error that led to a goal, a weak shot through his legs — ended up costing the Americans in a eventual 4-1 loss.

Bishop, 26, did show some positive signs upon being acquired by the Bolts at the deadline.

His first game was a 45-save shutout against Carolina, yet his numbers at the end of the year with Tampa Bay weren’t great: 3-4-1 record, with a 2.99 GAA and .917 save percentage.

But as far as Yzerman’s concerned, it’s all a part of the process.

“The biggest thing for goaltenders is mental toughness and the ability to come back the next night regardless of what happened the previous night,” he said.

“”That comes with time. Play a lot and you learn to deal with situations good or bad. Any of these experiences help a lot.”


After starring for Team USA, Ducks goalie Gibson ‘ready for the NHL right now’

  1. mathieug79 - Jun 5, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    Would ya get Luongo already!!

    • jb8588 - Jun 5, 2013 at 2:09 PM

      Not happening. Bolts don’t have the cap space to take on a contract like his, and even if they tried to send Vinny packing the other way, there is zero chance Vinny would waive his NTC. IMO I don’t want the Bolts to take him anyways!

      • mathieug79 - Jun 5, 2013 at 2:27 PM

        Not happening? What is so wrong with a 5.33 M$ cap hit? just need to send Ryan Malone and his 4.5M$ packing, lets say we send Anders Lindback or Bishop the other way that’s another 2M$. That’s 6.5$M dollars we send the other way (doesn’t have to be sent on the same deal) for Only a 5.33M$ cap hit.

        What if Vancouver takes a portion of his cap hit? There’s a lot of possibilities, If the Lightning do get Luongo, I think he’s going to be back to his old self. He’s going to want to prove Vancouver wrong. As for Lecavalier, I don’t think they will buy him out until next season.

      • jb8588 - Jun 5, 2013 at 4:49 PM

        The problem with the cap hit is how long it is…which is exactly why nobody else wants his contract. At least Malone’s contrract doesn’t last through almost the next decade like Luongo’s and even if Malone is a bit overpaid, he offers a lot (such as going into the corners & doing the dirty work, getting in front of the net on PP’s and taking the abuse) to the team that most other guys on the roster don’t, especially up front. Luongo has always been a solid regular season goaltender, but has never consistently shown up for the playoffs throughout his career even with a superior team in front of him.

  2. kingcobraman - Jun 5, 2013 at 1:23 PM

    unproven goalies are killing u guys in Tampa…like previous comment get luo and develop …your gambles are coming up snake eyes…

  3. jb8588 - Jun 5, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    That’s Stevie Y for ya…loves trading for/signing unproven goaltenders who leave much to be desired. First it was Dan Ellis, then Anders Lindback, now Bishop. Though I don’t think Bishop is terrible, the fact that he traded away Cory Conacher for him when he could of had Bishop the season before for only a 2nd round pick at the deadline has always baffled me.

    • mathieug79 - Jun 5, 2013 at 2:38 PM

      It was said Ottawa beat out Steve Yzerman’s offer for Ben Bishop which was a 2nd round pick. So it would’ve meant to give up one of our 1st round picks for him (who turned out to be Andrei Vasilevskiy). To tell you the Truth Cory Conacher is good, but not great. He was being pushed around, look at the playoffs this year with Ottawa he was healthy scratch most of the playoffs, why? because he’s soft.

      I would do the Bishop trade any day of the week if Conacher was the only piece going the other way! You can never have enough depth at the Goalie position. Luckily we had enough depth at the tiny scoring forward position. So why not swap a tiny forward for a goalie almost twice his height?

      • jb8588 - Jun 5, 2013 at 4:53 PM

        Conacher does seem to get pushed around a bit, you do have a point there. But since watching him two seasons ago in Norfolk, you could tell the skill was there and he had game. He probably needs to work in the gym over the summer, but then again didn’t Stammer have the same issues his rookie year? And look how he has turned out. Also, any hockey fan (especially a Bolts fan) should NEVER unestimate a “tiny forward”…especially when we have one of the best to have ever played in Marty St. Louis. Think Calgary regrets not giving him a legit shot now because they felt he was too small?

      • mathieug79 - Jun 5, 2013 at 10:16 PM

        Thats not the point, I know he has skill and will probably get better in Ottawa, but In the end it was between Tyler Johnson and Cory Conacher, and Yzerman thought it through and picked TJ over Conacher. Its as simple as that.

        If Yzerman opts to go with Jonathan Drouin in the draft, we would’ve had 4 small forward,

  4. 2dollarpbrs - Jun 5, 2013 at 2:32 PM

    I think Bishop will be fine

    He is from a long line of goalies from UMaine

    I do agree with jb about the timing & value given up in the trade

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