Speculation runs wild as Evgeni Nabokov replaces Ben Bishop mid-game
We're still awaiting details regarding the status of Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop, who did not return to the ice following the first intermission of tonight's game in Pittsburgh vs. the Penguins.
Evgeni Nabokov is in net and has allowed one goal as the Lightning now trail 2-1.
Speculation runs rampant right now -- Kevin Weeks has called it a lower-body injury:
Bad news for @TBLightning with Goalie Big Ben leaving tonight's game @penguins with what appeared to be lower body injury. @NHLNetwork— Kevin Weekes (@KevinWeekes) December 16, 2014
Others are no doubt concerned about his surgically-repaired wrist. With Taylor Hall speculation also going full swing, some have wondered aloud about a trade, but this doesn't appear to be trade-related. Radko Gudas was also unlikely to play tonight due to an apparent stomach virus which he overcame to dress this evening, so there is some concern he may have been exposed to that. Or, worse, been exposed to the mumps which have affected Pittsburgh's roster. Most of those possibilities seem farfetched, however.
Jon Cooper has called it "not a coach's choice" to replace Bishop with Nabby, and that they will re-evaluate after the game. That seems to hint this is almost definitely injury related and not one of the other more quixotic scenarios dreamed up. In the even of an injury to Bishop, Andrei Vasilevskiy would likely be called up to back-up or perhaps even split time with Nabokov for the foreseeable future.
We will update this stream with more information as it comes out.