Pre-Game Notebook: Bishop To Start Against Former Team
In only his fourth game after being traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning from the Ottawa Senators at the end of the 2012-13 season, goaltender Ben Bishop played against his former team. He also did so when he was dealt from the St. Louis Blues.
He is no stranger to games like Thursday and he does not mind it one bit, as he is expected to start in net Thursday.
“I like the pressure,” Bishop said. “It will be a lot of fun and going back to Ottawa will be too.”
Bishop will make his first visit to Ottawa as a member of the Lightning at the end of January.
The Senators get to see the 27-year-old from another light this season. Splitting time in net with Anders Lindback and Mathieu Garon at the end of last year, Bishop has been off to his best career start during the 2013-14 campaign.
“I’m happy to see the success he’s had to start the year,” Senators’ captain Jason Spezza said. “I know he’ll be looking to have a great night and will be fired up playing against us.”
TAKING A MENTAL NOTE
Knowing that Tampa Bay is bound to go through their fair share of ruts over the course of an 82-game season, head coach Jon Cooper believes it might have more to do with something from within.
“The mental side of the game is a huge part,” Cooper said. “A lot of the things we’re lacking right now are not x’s and o’s, it’s inside and we need to pull it out of them.”
As a coach, Cooper said there are a lot of ways to “push players buttons,” but that he has talked in length with them about their work ethic as well.
“We’re actually taking shortcuts and cheating the game a little bit to get results,” he said. “We think that’s what’s going to work and that’s not going to work.”
ODDS ‘N ENDS
Cooper said he’s likely to go with 11 forwards and seven defensemen tonight, meaning there’s a chance that forward Richard Panik, who was on the ice today with P.C. Labrie and Eric Brewer, will be scratched and defenseman Matt Taormina will be in.
Eric Brewer skated Thursday after being a late scratch Tuesday and not practicing with the team on Wednesday.
Playing Ottawa’s AHL affiliate, the Binghamton Senators, often when coaching the Syracuse Crunch, Cooper said he’s fairly familiar with the team and their type of play.