Dec 9, 2013, 5:15 PM EDT
The Tampa Bay Lightning didn’t get very good goaltending last season. And in a very much related story, they didn’t make the playoffs.
This season has been a different story, though. Thanks in large part to an impressive .918 team save percentage, as produced by the tandem of Ben Bishop and Anders Lindback, the Lightning are 17-10-2 after 29 games and hold the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.
And that’s despite losing star Steven Stamkos to injury almost a month ago.
“We’re not in the spot we are in the standings if we don’t have the goaltending we’ve been getting, especially with a team that’s going through lineup changes on a daily basis and has the inability to score right now,” head coach Jon Cooper said. “I can’t stress enough how much that’s kept us in the race.”
Other teams currently in a playoff position that should be thankful for their goaltending? Montreal, Colorado, Toronto, and Washington.
Teams in the opposite situation? New Jersey and the Islanders.
- West update: Stars blow lead yet still improve hold on wild card spot 3
- East update: Red Wings eke out shootout win for key points 0
- Luongo continues to foil Schneider as Panthers damage Devils’ playoff hopes 3
- TGIF: In which we salivate over potential playoff matchups 10
- Backstrom to receive silver medal, IOC says Sweden doctor ‘made a serious error’ 28
- Pens lose Neal to concussion 56
- Here are the top 10 and bottom 10 goalies in even-strength save percentage 22
- Weekend preview: Flyers-Pens rivalry renewed, Bruins look to stay hot 12
- Video: Stamkos scores first goal since returning to Lightning lineup 4
- Sedin backs Tortorella and staff: ‘We love playing for these coaches’ 26
- Here are three ‘major changes’ the NHL should consider (98)
- Chiasson ‘shaken up’ by Peverley incident, won’t dress for Stars tonight (74)
- ‘It’s obvious Tortorella can’t come back next year,’ writes Vancouver reporter (62)
- Video: Dryden on why hockey should ‘give up the fighting, but keep the fight’ (57)
- Cooke to play 1,000th game tomorrow (56)