The plain facts in the press release are that Ben Bishop will miss 3-4 weeks of the NHL season due to a lower body injury. Last night, during a game where Tampa re-discovered its offense and defeated the Red Wings 4-1, the team suffered the irony of a different kind of loss.
During the first period at the 12:05 mark, with the Bolts up by a goal, Bishop moved to deflect his fourth shot of the night from Red Wing Nick Jensen. Bishop turned to center on the puck, and while deflecting with his right leg, appeared to instantly realize that he's hurt something. A moment of starfishing on the ice later, Bishop gingerly tested his lower body, and decided that he was injured enough to leave the ice.
Was he hit by the puck in a soft spot? Did he tear something? You judge.
Andrei Vasilevskiy came into the game in his relief, and because the game-winning goal was scored while he was on the ice, earned the victory. Lightning fans will be seeing a lot of Vasy in the 3-4 weeks to come, and some of his backup, Syracuse Crunch goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis. The impact of this movement was seen throughout the system earlier today, with 5th goalie Nicola Riopel recalled from the Kalamazoo Wings to back up Adam Wilcox for the Crunch.
In 14 games played for the Syracuse Crunch this season, Gudlevskis has a .884 SV%, and 2.89 GAA. In 15 games played while sharing starts with Gudlevskis, Wilcox has a .924 SV% and 2.09 GAA. Will we see Gudlevskis back up Vasilevskiy until the Lightning are in dire need of a win, and then see another change of goaltending personnel?
Time will tell. In 3-4 weeks, the team will have had five days off for winter break, and it will be late January, the start of the second half of the season.
The Lightning and Red Wings have a terrible history together this season. The last time Tampa saw Detroit was at Joe Louis Arena, during the same game where Detroit lost Darren Helm, and Tampa lost Steven Stamkos. Detroit lost goaltender Jimmy Howard last night too -- on a play by the same player that took out Bishop, Jensen. It's a horrible coincidence, and I think we’d all like it to stop now.
Adding up all the injuries, the Lightning are currently out 28.35 million dollars in injured players.