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Lindback: Backing up Bishop ‘not where I want to be’

Dec 2, 2013, 11:06 AM EDT

anderslindbackgetty Getty Images

Heading into the season, Tampa Bay head coach Jon Cooper said he had two No. 1 netminders in Ben Bishop and Anders Lindback.

But with the Lightning now past the quarter pole, that’s hardly been the case.

Bishop’s emerged as Tampa’s clear-cut starter 26 games into the season, relegating Lindback to a backup role. While the Swedish netminder isn’t complaining about the situation, he’s not exactly thrilled with it either.

“There’s not a lot I can do except work hard and try to stay ready,” Lindback told the Tampa Bay Times. “It’s not an easy situation, but that’s the way it is. It’s my job right now, so I have to find a way to stay ready.”

Lindback has only made eight appearances through 26 games this year, posting a 2-5-0 record with a 3.26 GAA and .876 save percentage. Those numbers, combined with the fact Bishop’s been one of the NHL’s best goalies to start the season — playing himself into Team USA Olympic consideration — has made Cooper’s starting goalie decision easy on most nights. Bishop’s played 20 times already and figures to get the majority of the starts moving forward.

The issue, of course, is that Lindback was acquired from Nashville in June 2012 to challenge for a starting gig. Bishop wasn’t around at the time — he was acquired from Ottawa at last year’s deadline — and Cooper has been steadfast in saying the No. 1 gig is still up for grabs, even if Bishop clearly has it in his grasp.

Lindback hopes he’ll have more chances at winning it back.

“I think everyone understands it’s not where I want to be,” Lindback said. “But you can’t go around and be frustrated. It’s not going to help you be better. It’s a matter of keep working and wait for the opportunity.”

  1. ctcork - Dec 2, 2013 at 11:37 AM

    Well I don’t want my back up netminder going to the media to complain so it looks like we’re both disappointed here, Lindy.

    • ibieiniid - Dec 2, 2013 at 11:47 AM

      how is that complaining? he put the whole situation on his own play. he’s not gonna say “yeah, I suck, I should sit.” normally when a player says that, he says it more like “There’s not a lot I can do except work hard and try to stay ready. It’s not an easy situation, but that’s the way it is. It’s my job right now, so I have to find a way to stay ready.”

    • janiesmom - Dec 2, 2013 at 5:18 PM

      Yes, it would be far, far better if he simply refused to answer a question posed to him. There’s absolutely no way that could be misinterpreted by people looking for a controversy.

    • pfhockey - Dec 3, 2013 at 3:58 PM

      Not really complaining…

  2. jb8588 - Dec 2, 2013 at 11:44 AM

    Well gee Anders…if you actually stopped the puck more often then Stevie Y would of never went out and got Bishop last season to begin with. The Bolts traded for you to become the #1 guy and like in previous similar experiements (see Dan Ellis), you couldn’t handle the #1 job. Then again, Mike Smith went elsewhere and became a top goaltender so maybe he has a point.

    • lightning69 - Dec 2, 2013 at 4:20 PM

      You have a point JB, but also remember that Lindback had nothing but a horribly leaky, 1 handed weak stick checking, turnover machine of a D in front of him last year. Dude was shelled from all over the ice because of that. I will give him a pass on last year. But of the few games Lindy has seen, more of this kind of play has been in front of him.

      Yes Bishop has turned Chicken S#%t into sweet soup with some amazing play, but Lindy has had some great moments too. He just hasn’t seen as much help as Bish has and he is probably still a little shell shocked seeing the same mistakes on routine D plays.

      Regardless, win when you get your chances and it fixes a lot.

      Just thought some context would be called for hear on your comment and this terrible headline.

  3. lightning69 - Dec 2, 2013 at 12:16 PM

    From all local accounts Lindback is a team guy. EVERY hockey player that isn’t getting minutes wants to be out there or they wouldn’t be in the NHL.

    But I guess it isn’t as much fun to remember that Lindback is answering direct questions being asked of him. And a non context quote being made into headlines. Wait, nevermind, “Turmoil reeks locker room havoc in Tampa’s Twin Towers of Netminders!!”

    Unfortunately for Lindback he has been hung out to dry on every outing by our D. Cost him a shutout against the Flyers. Although Bishop has been left hanging as well. But he has been able to steal some wins and cover some serious errors. Hope Lindy can rise to the challenge and assert himself into quality minutes for time to help with trade possibilities or step in if Bishop is injured. Seems Bishop is run almost every game, not many calls either.

    • gekkoguy82 - Dec 2, 2013 at 1:49 PM

      Lindy was nothing but classy and a great teammate during his time here in Nashville. I suspect that hasn’t changed, even with his current frustrations. I hope he can turn his play around, because he’s got a ton of potential.

  4. janiesmom - Dec 2, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    Only among hockey fans can “I’m not doing as well as I need to” be translated as whining to the media.

    • ibieiniid - Dec 2, 2013 at 1:33 PM

      lol, players RARELY actually say controversial things so these people flip out when they think something controversial was implied. dumb dumb dumb.

      • ctcork - Dec 2, 2013 at 2:47 PM

        I wouldn’t call it “flipping out.” Just think that if he’s frustrated he should show me something on the ice instead of in the media.

    • pfhockey - Dec 3, 2013 at 4:09 PM

      He’s got potential, If I made a list why Bishop is playing better it’d look like this:
      Angle / positioning
      Finding the puck better
      This guy is a class act and a good teammate, it’s not like he thinks the starting job is guaranteed for him, he’s got Vasy on his back and his play this season will determine if he’ll be here next year or the year after. Complaining is probably the last thing on his mind, our D needs to play sharper to the system when teams are surging.

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