Bishop relishes chance to get in Ottawa’s goaltending mix

TAMPA – Ben Bishop was disappointed he didn’t make the St. Louis Blues last season.
But Jaroslav Halak got one spot based on seniority and Brian Elliott played just well enough to beat Bishop for the backup spot.
Next September the 25-year-old goalie, all 6-7 and 215 pounds of him, face the same scenario. He’ll be battling Craig Anderson and Robin Lehner for a position on Ottawa’s depth chart.
With the one-year, one-way contract extension he just signed, Bishop will have a little more leverage than in did in St. Louis, since he’ll have to clear waivers if he’s sent to the minors, and with a price tag of only $650,000, he’d be cheap.
But he’s not foolish enough to think that’s any sort of guarantee.
“I don’t think there are any promises in this game,” he said.
“You’ve just got to play well. That’s what it comes down to.
“Obviously there’s a little bit of insurance with the one-way contract, but it doesn’t mean anything if you don’t play well.”
Regarded by some as the best goalie not in the AHL, Bishop was a sought-after commodity at the trade deadline. In a coincidence, his first NHL opponent as a Senator, the Tampa Bay Lightning, was among the serious bidders.
He brings impressive stats to the Senators. He was 2-1-0 in three games with Binghamton in the last week, and 24-14-0 with a league-leading six shutouts before he was traded from the Blues farm club in Peoria to Ottawa.
Now he just has to show the Senators he can deliver in the NHL. One of his first tasks on Tuesday was to begin learning the names of his teammates.
“I excited,” he said.
“It’s nice to be called up and be here with the team.
“I’m sure there will be some nerves. Everybody gets them, but when the puck drops it kind of goes away. I just try to stay big, be patient, and stop the puck.”
Meanwhile, 20-year-old Robin Lehner headed back to Binghamton with a 2-2-0 record from this latest audition but coach Paul MacLean said he was pleased with Lehner’s work in the net.
“I thought he played real good, obviously in the games he won,” said MacLean.
“In the Chicago game (a 2-1 loss) he allowed it to be respectable, and we can’t fault him, really, on the game in Florida (a 4-2 loss).
“So we gave him an opportunity to show us he could be a goalie here.
“But at the same time we’re going to show Ben Bishop we have confidence in him, and give him an opportunity to see what he can do to be a goalie here.”

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