Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 4/9/13
TAMPA, Fla. Ben Bishop wanted this night to be as normal as possible. The intrigue was obvious the Tampa Bay Lightnings new goalie faces his former team six days after a trade but he wanted little part of that story line. The predictable was too dull, too mundane, too unlike him. So Bishop simplified things, and observing the 6-foot-7 netminder, its easy to see why. He spent the better part of a four-minute give-and-take with local and Canadian media Tuesday morning offering a glimpse at a more complete profile of him, one free of exaggeration and sugarcoated compliments. He said there would be some feeling of nostalgia playing the Ottawa Senators, the team he spent parts of the past two seasons with, but he would consider them just another opponent once the puck dropped and his adrenaline peaked. He said he would consider Kyle Turris, Sergei Gonchar, Daniel Alfredsson and other former teammates-turned-foes to be the enemy out there once pregame goodwill became in-the-moment heat. After the game, were going to be able to say Hi, Bishop said before making 31 saves in a 3-2 victory over Ottawa at Tampa Bay Times Forum. But during the game, its going to be all business. This is what the Lightning have in Bishop: a collected, all-business talent in front of the net, one vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman hopes is the answer to goaltending problems that have placed Tampa Bay on the verge of missing the playoffs for the fifth time in sixth years. The trade was made with thoughts of not only pushing for the postseason this year that looks more unlikely by the hour but also with the future in mind. Future returns are how this deal should be evaluated, of course, but the Lightning could use the help in a hurry. Look, something had to be done. In many ways, Tampa Bay has wasted superb seasons by Steven Stamkos (26 goals and 50 points) and Martin St. Louis (49 points) with sub-par play near the net (they ranked in the bottom third of the league in goals allowed by surrendering 2.92 per game). If the Lightning indeed miss the playoffs, they will reflect on this winter as a missed opportunity. In time, Bishop could prove to be the answer to help cure some defensive ills, alongside fellow goalies Anders Lindback and Mathieu Garon. Then again, he might not. For now, though, any move to improve in the area should be welcomed. It speaks volumes about his composure as a goaltender, Lightning coach Jon Cooper said after the victory Tuesday. So he goes into his first game with us and pitches a 45-save shutout (vs. Carolina Hurricanes last Thursday). Then he comes into his first home game against his former team and beats them. So you cant say enough about his confidence and composure. Hes the big wall back there. This early after the trade, which cost Tampa Bay center Cory Conacher and a fourth-round pick, Cooper is obviously confident in Bishop. The coach said the goalies composure is his greatest trait. Bishops build makes him a formidable threat hes said to be the tallest goalie in NHL history and it will be interesting to see how he evolves in the role. It will also be revealing to see if this stop will elevate his career. He arrived in Ottawa before the 2011-12 season after two unremarkable campaigns with the St. Louis Blues, who selected him 85th overall in the 2005 draft. (He played 13 games total from 2008-09 and 2010-11.) The 17 games played this season are a career-high, seven more than his previous career mark set in the 2011-12 campaign. So in many ways, the union between Bishop and Tampa Bay can be one of mutual benefit. The Lightning need someone who can patch leaky protection that has caused them trouble all season. Meanwhile, Tampa Bay provides Bishop a chance to show that he can become an effective option behind the net. Will the partnership work? Some in Ottawa hint that it might. He has just been solid, Senators coach Paul MacLean said of Bishop. He has just been a real professional. I think his work ethic was very good. His ability to play and respond under pressure was very good. He was nothing but very good to the Ottawa Senators. Former teammates thought so as well. The biggest thing with Bishop is that hes just a great guy in the locker room, Ottawa winger Chris Neil said. Hes always got a smile on his face, a happy guy. He kept it loose in the room, and it was great. You come in the morning and youre having a bad day, and you see that big goofy smile on his face, and it just lightens you right up. Tampa is lucky to get a guy like that. The Lightning also hope theyre savvy and right with this bet on Big Ben. You can follow Andrew Astleford on Twitter @aastleford or email him at aastleford@gmail.com.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Best and worst from NBA All-Star Saturday night

WATCH: Klay Thompson can't go home unless he beats Steph Curry in 3-Point Contest

Star players are hurting Houston Rockets

Emmitt Smith: Adrian Peterson only current player who could break rushing record

Coach K gets buzzer-beater win over Virginia for his birthday

Baylor approves new measures to deal with sexual assault

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Joe Mauer: Concussions blurred vision, affected hitting

LeBron James says Kevin Love-Celtics trade rumor is false

Michael Jordan gifts Kobe Bryant full set of Air Jordans

Bethune-Cookman football player killed at party

Former UFC heavyweight Kevin Randleman dead at 44

WATCH: Chelsea scores three goals in less than 20 minutes

WATCH: Klay Thompson beats teammate Steph Curry in 3-point contest

NFL teams, players hand out awesome Valentines

Earl Campbell ‘disappointed’ in Johnny Manziel, wants to help

Big man Karl-Anthony Towns wins NBA Skills Challenge

MLB commish: Cubs will host All-Star Game in near future

WATCH: Memphis forward recreates Vince Carter's elbow dunk in game

Bruins forward is goal scoring machine after suspension

Michael Jordan gives Kobe Bryant complete set of Air Jordans

Drake has Kentucky edition of custom ‘OVO’ Air Jordan 8s

QUIZ: Name every NBA All-Star Game MVP

Watch rare footage of Stephen Curry from 2001-02 emerges

Check out this custom camouflage Oregon helmet

Ejected John Calipari tweets “they don’t need me and I love it”

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Ranking the ten best free agent pitcher signings

Who had the best NBA All-Star Game of the last 40 years?

The winners and losers of the 2016 MLB offseason

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker