Goaltending depth is a beautiful thing for teams possessing it.
The Ottawa Senators are blessed with three capable netminders. When Craig Anderson suffered a hand laceration, young Robin Lehrner filled in nicely. The Senators added a second top prospect, Ben Bishop, in a trade with the St. Louis Blues.
Bishop got his chance after a brief AHL stint for Ottawa's Binghamton affiliate. He started seven consecutive games before Anderson returned from his injury after a 12-game absence.
“It's been a lot of fun,” Bishop said, according to the Canadian Press. “It was a great situation for me, that they wanted me at the (trade) deadline like that and then to get a chance to play some games.
“To play seven games in a row was really good for experience, especially in the race we're in. They're big games. Hopefully we can keep going and go far in the playoffs.”
When Anderson had a rocky return, Bishop returned to the lead role to face the Penguins.
“It’s back-to-back games and we’ve got three games in four nights, and (Bishop) has played real well for us,” Senators coach Paul MacLean said. “To play (Anderson) back-to-back coming off the injury just didn’t seem like the right thing to do.”
But after Bishop suffered a lower body injury against Pittsburgh, Anderson stepped up and won in relief – for his first victory since Feb. 22.
“Obviously not a whole lot of time to think about it,” Anderson told the Ottawa Citizen. “You just get thrown in there and you take the mind out of it and just read and react and the guys did a great job of really keeping things to the outside and allowing me to see the puck.”
Should Bishop miss time with his injury, Lehner could get another call. Veteran Alex Auld is still on the Ottawa roster, but at this point he is just emergency protection.
How many other NHL teams have a guy of Auld’s caliber relegated to a No. 3 role?