Ben Bishop, as #1 netminder for the Tampa Bay Lightning, has contributed immensely to the Bolts making the playoffs three times in his three full seasons with the club. Perhaps it's a relevant tidbit to note that the guy he was acquired for, Cory Conacher, is no longer in the NHL. Bishop is the focus here, though, while we continue to wish nothing but the best to Conacher.
At any rate, one thing that has gone along with Tampa Bay playoff berths while Bishop has overseen the crease for the club has been Bishop being hurt. Playing through pain is a truth that is tied to the sport, especially at the most competitive times in the game for the sake of the team... Ben Bishop has pulled that feat himself in one of these situations.
The 2014 NHL playoffs didn't feature Bishop at all. Less than a week before the end of the season, Bishop was knocked from a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The damage turned out to be a wrist injury requiring surgery for the 6'7" goalkeeper, who had nominated for the Vezina Trophy as the league's best goalie during the spring of 2014. Backup goaltender of the time, Anders Lindback, saw the majority of the minutes in the crease in the 2014 playoffs: a sweep of the Bolts at the hands of the Montreal Canadiens. Lindback's numbers were quiet disappointing: a 3.93 GAA and a .889 save percentage. Lindy gave up 14 goals on 118 shots. Kristers Gudlevskis, in his first North American season, also saw 40 minutes of playing time in the playoffs, giving up 2 goals on 20 total shots against.
The 2015 NHL playoffs saw Tampa Bay go so far as the Stanley Cup Finals - only the second time in franchise history. Bishop's efforts in the crease were part of what got the club that far. His regular season numbers were solid, but less ardent than what we've seen this season: a 2.32 GAA and a .916 save percentage, ultimately going 40-13-5 in his 59 game starts. The playoff numbers, not broken down by round, are much closer to what we've seen from Bishop in the 2015-16 season: a 2.18 goals-against average and a .921 save percentage. The thing is, in those Stanley Cup Finals against the Chicago Blackhawks, Bishop was hurt, tearing his groin in game 2 of the series. The Lightning, with the ailing Bishop in net, took game 3 in Chicago, making 36 saves. It was the Lightning's last win of the series but all failings of the series did not result from Bishop's injury alone; Tyler Johnson and other players on the Bolts roster were banged up and the team suffered due to it. He was making 26.6 saves on-average a night during his five starts in the finals, and the most goals he gave up during the series was 3 - during the Lightning win in game 2.
Bishop's overall 2015 playoff record of 13-11 is impressive. The man faced 660 total shots on net and turned away 616 over the collective playoffs (the Detroit Red Wings, Canadiens, and New York Rangers being the three trials before the Cup Finals). He also pitched 3 shutouts for the collective playoffs as well.
He's already got 2 in the 2016 playoffs in his efforts against the Red Wings and New York Islanders. Bishop's gone 8-2 in his 10 games (actually it's 11 games, I'm not counting game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals because he didn't last beyond the 1st period). He hasn't played nearly half his minutes compared to the total playoffs of 2015 (1459 as to 582 - basically 24 hours versus 10) and his statistical aspects of the playoffs so-far show why the Lightning are Eastern Conference Finalists: a 1.86 goals-against average and a .938 save percentage.
After his incident in the series opener against the Penguins, Bishop's been listed as day-to-day. With what he's overcome in the past, it's not like you shouldn't expect a return... Yet don't expect reports with clarity from the Bolts regarding Bishop's incident until after the playoffs are over.