Memories of Stanley Cup Final Past: Ben Bishop Trades Goalie Pads For Football Pads
Two teams who played great defensive systems didn’t give an inch. Nobody could afford to give goals away because one mistake could cost the entire game. Apparently, Tampa Bay netminder Ben Bishop didn’t get the memo.
The 2015 Stanley Cup Final was about as tight as a series can get. There wasn’t a two-goal lead in the series until late in the third period of game six when Patrick Kane beat Ben Bishop on a one-timer. The Blackhawks became the first team in NHL history to win the cup and score two goals or less in each of their Stanley Cup Final wins. “Tight” is an understatement for the closeness of this series.
Goals were hard to come by. Two teams who played great defensive systems didn’t give an inch. Nobody could afford to give goals away because one mistake could cost the entire game. Apparently, Tampa Bay netminder Ben Bishop didn’t get the memo.
Jonathan Toews sent a puck nearly the length of the ice from his defensive zone goal line. The puck skittered over the Tampa Bay blue line. As the puck came into his zone, Bishop made the decision to play the puck. It was a costly choice. Ben Bishop and his defenseman, Victor Hedman headed on a crash course for the puck. They collided, Sharp grabbed to puck and scored one of the easier goals of his life.
In such a close series, mistakes like this couldn’t happen. When Bishop ran over Hedman, he cost his team the game and ultimately the series. Bishop strangely blamed the crowd for being “too loud” and causing him to not hear Hedman. Hawks fans might share some credit in that, as when the NBC camera pans to the crowd after Sharp’s goal, there is quite a bit of red mixed into the sea of blue.
Over their decade of dominance, the Hawks always found a way to win, even if their backs were against the wall. You couldn’t give them an inch and that’s exactly what Ben Bishop did. Good teams cash in on opportunities like these.
This game still stands as the Hawks last big road win in the playoffs. Cherish moments like these when they come. Cherish players like Patrick Sharp. Greatness has an expiration date.
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