From Andy Strickland at True Hockey comes this mildly surprising report: Ben Bishop’s tires are being kicked by the Ottawa Senators.
There are a lot of teams who would love to (or who really need to) solidify their goaltending right now, such as the Tampa Bay Lightning and Columbus Blue Jackets. Some teams, like the Pittsburgh Penguins, might like to get some solidity in net at backup. Others are looking at goalies with a “just in case”/“why not?” kind of mindset. The Toronto Maple Leafs’ goaltending has slipped in recent weeks, hampering their press to return to the playoffs.
The Ottawa Senators are in the same boat as the Leafs. Both of their goalies have subpar stats. Alex Auld has a 3.28 GAA and a .883 SV% in the 13 games that he’s played for the team. Starter Craig Anderson, acquired last year from the Colorado Avalanche at the deadline for current Blues netminder Brian Elliott, has played in 56 of the club’s games and has a .913 SV% and a 2.85 GAA.
The team needs consistency in net if they want to make sure that they’re back in the playoffs come April. Anderson is currently hurt, so their AHL starter Robin Lehner has been recalled for right now. Lehner led the Binghamton Senators to the Calder Cup last season, and is a quality prospect.
Ben Bishop was the MVP of this year’s AHL All-Star game and is the top goalie in the league right now. Unless he plays 30 minutes in 1730 games this season (which probably isn’t going to happen) he will be a UFA at the close of the year.