The Stars Finally Found The Right Man Between the Pipes in Bishop
It is often said that in hockey, the goaltender is the most important position.
It is easy to see why. A big save at the right time, a consistent and reliable masked man, and someone that can lift the team up can ultimately lead the team to a Stanley Cup.
The Dallas Stars have been missing that for the last several seasons. While there is no doubt that both Kari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi (a Cup winner with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010) were talented and played well at times, they were clearly not the right men between the pipes for the Stars.
It is easy to see why the Stars believe in the former Tampa Bay Lightning netminder. Bishop, the two-time Vezina Trophy Finalist (2014 and 2016), has had a lot of success in the regular season, where he has posted career numbers of 148-80-25 with a 2.32 goals against average, a .919 save percentage and 19 shutouts.
While the Stars have been able to put the puck in the net in the regular season, keeping it out was always a problem. Sure, the team's defensive core was not exactly great, but the club seemed to have difficulty in getting the big save from their netminders.
This should change with Bishop. In his last four regular seasons, he has posted goals against averages of 2.23, 2.32, 2.06, and 2.55, while also having solid save percentages of .924, .916, .926, and .911.
Bishop has also played extremely well in the playoffs. He led the Lightning to a Cup Final in 2015 and to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2016. For his playoff career, Bishop has posted terrific numbers with a 21-13 record to go along with a .927 save percentage and five shutouts.
While the Stars have not necessarily been to the postseason a lot in the last several years, they will certainly need a guy like Bishop to help them not only get there, but to also help the club succeed when it matters most. As everyone knows, the Western Conference has several elite teams with potent offenses and in order to keep them at bay, they need a goaltender that will be up to the task and Bishop seems to fit the bill.
With Bishop between the pipes, the Stars will be more than relevant and should be Cup contenders for the next several seasons.
Previously, Patrick has covered the NHL for Sportsnet.ca, Kukla’s Korner, Spector’s Hockey, About.com, NHL Network Radio blog, TheHockeyNews.com, The Fourth Period, Stan Fischler’s “The Fischler Report”, as well as a slew of others.