Jan 30, 2014, 3:22 PM EST
Though he’s beaten his former club three times already, Thursday will mark the first time Ben Bishop will play in Ottawa since the trade that sent him to Tampa Bay last season.
To hear Bishop explain it, he’ll always be grateful for what the Sens provided.
“It’s nice to have this opportunity,” Bishop said, per TSN. “I’m just thankful for Ottawa because I had a couple of opportunities to be the starter here when [Craig Anderson] got hurt. It kind of prepared me for this year.”
Bishop is the NHL’s tallest netminder and perhaps its best right now, ranking among the League leaders in wins (27), goals-against average (1.99), save percentage (.933) and shutouts (four). He’s right in the middle — if not at the top — of the Vezina conversation and has been tabbed as the No. 4/emergency goalie for Team USA at the Winter Olympics, on speed dial should injury hit Jonathan Quick, Ryan Miller or Jimmy Howard.
What’s remarkable, though, is how limited Bishop’s body of work was coming into this season.
After spending time in the St. Louis organization, Bishop briefly starred with the Sens last year but still only managed to appear in 13 games. That’s a far cry from the 39 he’s seen action in this year, beating out Anders Lindback for Tampa’s No. 1 gig and emerging as one of the best bargains ($2.3 million) in goal.
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