Between the regular season and playoffs Ben Bishop had ten assists while wearing a Tampa Bay Lightning uniform. He is the only Lightning goaltender to record a point in the playoffs (he has three) and his seven regular season assists is tied with Nikolai Khabibulin for the all-time franchise lead.
Yet he has never assisted on a Steven Stamkos goal. In fact, the two have only hooked up to record points on the same goal once in their four seasons together. It came on a Vlad Namestnikov goal against Montreal.
The play was typical Ben Bishop. He roamed out of his net to play a puck that was trickling into his zone. He caught the Canadiens on a line change and hit Stamkos on the far blueline with a perfect pass (kids, a long, time ago that play would have been illegal because players couldn’t pass the puck over two lines).
Stamkos drew the defender to him because, well, he’s Steven Stamkos and no player is going to let him come in alone on his goaltender, even if that goaltender is Carey Price. Once the Canadien was committed, Stamkos made a nice pass to the wide open Namestnikov, who had just popped off the Lightning bench. A shifty little move and the Russian put it past Price for his first of two goals that night.
Bishop also had two points that night when he set up a goal that was scored by Jonathan Drouin later in the game.
It’s odd that Bishop and Stamkos never hooked up for a goal. As good a passer as Bishop is for a goalie, and as prolific a scorer as Stamkos is, one would think it would just be a matter of time before the two combined for a Stamkos goal. Unfortunately, it looks like time has run out for this one-two punch, since the Lightning traded Bishop to Los Angeles for some stuff on Sunday night.
Bishop shouldn’t feel too bad, Stamkos didn’t help too many goalies pad their offensive stats. Of his 321 career regular season goals only four have come with the aid of a goaltender. That comes to a whopping 1.2% of all his goals. The lucky four:
Karri Ramo - March 17, 2009
Dan Ellis - November 18, 2010
Mathieu Garon - January 31, 2012
Anders Lindback - February 1, 2013
At least he’s spread it out over the season. Will Peter Budaj get a chance to end the three-year streak? Only time will tell.