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Tampa Bay has big questions in goal

Aug 5, 2013, 9:45 AM EDT

Ben Bishop AP

Anders Lindback and Ben Bishop make up Tampa Bay’s goalie tandem and while they make for the league’s tallest duo, their play last season didn’t make them feared.

Lindback, acquired from Nashville last summer, got the bulk of the starts before going down with an ankle injury and was perfectly average. While he went 10-10-1 he stopped pucks at a .902 clip with a 2.90 goals-against average.

Bishop was acquired later in the season in a deal with Ottawa that saw Cory Conacher go the other way. In his brief audition to show what he’s got, he went 3-4-1 and put up better save numbers (.914 SV%) than Lindback, but the goals kept coming (2.99 GAA).

It was a short season with small sample sizes all over the place for both goalies, but that has to worry folks in Tampa. Part of their struggles have to do with Tampa’s rather putrid defense as well as a mid-season coaching change with Guy Boucher swept out and Jon Cooper ushered in. Their inexperience at the NHL level didn’t help either.

Before last season the two goalies combined for 61 NHL games played with Lindback have just 38 of those he was brought in to be the man. Now they’ll battle it out to see who earns the starting nod. Buckle up Lightning fans, it could be a bumpy ride.

  1. steelers88 - Aug 5, 2013 at 10:02 AM

    Ryan Miller?

  2. mathieug79 - Aug 5, 2013 at 10:22 AM

    take Ryan Malone and Eric Brewer’s contract and we’ll be glad to take his 6M cap hit!

  3. jpelle82 - Aug 5, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    well, hopefully bishop does it for them. its a shame to see all that talent up front go to waste, a st louis, stamkos, drouin pp should be pretty nasty though!

  4. withseidelinn - Aug 5, 2013 at 10:44 AM

    I honestly think Bishop is so overrated, but Lindback should be able to develop nicely into a starter from what I remember about his play in Nashville.

    • 19to77 - Aug 5, 2013 at 1:15 PM

      Bishop performed well in Ottawa when Anderson went down. 8-5-0, 2.45 GAA, .922 save percentage. Very good numbers, especially when you consider how banged-up the roster was. Put a defense that isn’t absolutely terrible in front of him and he’s a solid goalie.

  5. kicksave1980 - Aug 5, 2013 at 2:34 PM

    Bishop played great last year when called upon. Ideally, you’d like to have a more veteran backup behind him for insurance reasons, but every goalie is ‘unproven’ until they get a chance to show what they can do. I wouldn’t be surprised if Lindback has a bounce-back year and they push each other for starts all season.

  6. blomfeld - Aug 5, 2013 at 3:16 PM

    “Buckle up Lightning fans, it could be a bumpy ride” … Joe Yerdon @ PHT

    Well, it doesn’t have to be that way … and I’m now convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that it won’t be. Anyway, despite the fact that having NHL hockey in Florida makes about as much sense as the league looking to set up shop in Ghana or Sierre Leone, I actually wish the Bolts well on this their ‘special’ day ! … so good luck to you people and God speed ! :)

    Yet here’s the deal friends. Roberto Luongo wants to come back to the state of Florida so bad it hurts. He positively ‘hates’ the Vancouver Canucks and their fans and his new ‘high-powered’ counsel is now doing everything ‘humanly’ possible in-order to facilitate such a move, which you would think should be easier than taking candy from a child. Yet Yzerman and the TB ownership are still inexplicably holding out from making this happen? … very strange and very counter-productive, especially from their point of view ? Nonetheless friends, it’s only August 5th today and so there’s still ample time for things to happen … and by George, things are ‘definitely’ going to happen !

  7. endusersolutions2013 - Aug 5, 2013 at 6:11 PM

    I’ve seen you post several video links, did not click on, so you got my curiosi8ty. I know Gettysburg. My dad’s a civil war and lincoln, has lectured not only all over the country but also internationally.

    We camped there in 1963 at the big re-enactment.

    I’m well familiar with how Reynold’s stand was a key factor in the battle that was the turning point, as it was the immediate denial of the best grounds for the army arriving over the next two days.

    And what does this have to do with the Tampa goalie situation?

    • elvispocomo - Aug 6, 2013 at 1:17 PM

      Don’t mind blom, he’s just blowing hot air to keep his reptile blood warm and hear himself speak.

  8. endusersolutions2013 - Aug 5, 2013 at 6:12 PM

    Meant to say “civil war and Lincoln scholar”.

    • blomfeld - Aug 6, 2013 at 12:43 AM

      Friend … if what you say is true, then I’m at a loss for words.

      • elvispocomo - Aug 6, 2013 at 1:17 PM

        That’d be a first, but +1 for that if actually true!

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