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Bishop: Fans deserve better than Saturday’s showing

Dec 29, 2013, 12:35 PM EDT

Montreal Canadiens' Brian Gionta (21) leaps away from a shot on goal as he blocks Tampa Bay Lightning's Ben Bishop (30) during the second period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius) AP

Saturday’s game against the Montreal Canadiens wasn’t a disaster for the Tampa Bay Lightning. They earned a point in the shootout loss, but that was due in no small part to goaltender Ben Bishop‘s efforts.

“Our timing was off. Our passes were off. Everything was off,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper told the Tampa Bay Times. “It was a good thing Bishop was on because that could have gotten ugly for us quickly.”

Bishop turned aside 20 of 21 shots in regulation time, but he was beaten by Lars Eller in the shootout and none of the Lightning skaters could solve netminder Carey Price.

It was the Lightning’s first home loss since Dec. 7 and Bishop wasn’t happy about it.

“Maybe we thought it was going to be easy after winning all those games before the break, and we just didn’t show up to play,” Bishop said. “We can’t do that in front of our fans. They deserve better.”

That defeat also was a missed opportunity for the team to put some distance between them and the third-place Canadiens while maximizing the ground they gained against the Atlantic Division leading Bruins. Boston lost to the Ottawa Senators last night.

Just five points separate Montreal, Tampa Bay, and Boston in the battle for the division title.

  1. steelers88 - Dec 29, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    The Lightning just need to hold on and keep earning points until Stamkos comes back. I think when Stamkos comes back the Lightning will take off.

  2. lightning69 - Dec 29, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    Bishop was huge in the 1st. Easily could have been down 0-3 without his effort. Hopefully his words make an impact.

    Marty rallied the troops for a short while but all year it seems like we all all “on” or all “off” and not much in between. Kills me to see such offensive skill we clearly have get wasted like last night. Credit to Price, but we had chances to blow him up and didn’t take shots. Over thinking and over passing has killed us the last couple of years. BTW, have to go upstairs in SO boys, FYI.

    Bolts are losing games in 12′ of ice. 3′ on each side of both blue lines.

    Bishop is the only reason (even with Stamkos) that we are still hanging in the top 3.

  3. lowenni - Dec 29, 2013 at 3:24 PM

    Right now Jon Cooper is without a doubt my coach of the year pick. He’s really brought the guys together and got them to play solid as a team in Stamkos’ absence, as well as gotten them to be an offensive force when Stammer was healthy.

  4. bbk1000 - Dec 29, 2013 at 7:52 PM

    Tampa shouldn’t have a hockey team to begin with…..this is exactly what they deserve….

    • letsgolightning - Dec 30, 2013 at 9:02 AM

      Your compelling argument aside, here’s a list of teams who draw fewer fans at home this season than the Lightning. I suppose we should get rid of them, too? The contraction draft should be interesting as we go to a ten-team league and lose two of the Original Six.

      Los Angeles
      NY Rangers
      San Jose
      St. Louis
      New Jersey
      NY Islanders

      • bbk1000 - Dec 30, 2013 at 2:55 PM

        I hope you are not using this to convince yourself Tampa has anything on the Bruins or Rangers……that would be silly. Tampa is a lousy sports town, it’s not a big deal.

        How do Tampa draw while on the road?

        I can hear all the fans from other teams now, “wow, I can’t wait until the Lightning come to town”…..


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