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Behind the Numbers: Ben Bishop

by Bryan Burns / Tampa Bay Lightning

Goaltender Ben Bishop continued to rewrite the Tampa Bay Lightning record book in 2016-17, his third full season and fourth overall with the Bolts.

Following a Vezina Trophy-worthy campaign in which he went 35-21-4 in the regular season with a league-best 2.06 goals-against average and league-runner-up .926 save percentage, Bishop cemented his stranglehold on the franchise goaltending marks. Bishop now owns nearly every major Lightning goaltending record, and the ones he doesn’t possess are well within striking distance.

Bishop has set the bar high during his reign with Tampa Bay.

We’ll take a look how high in Behind the Numbers.

.927 – playoff save percentage

Bishop gave up just 18 goals on 297 shots during the 2016 postseason before his playoff run was cut short by a lower-body injury sustained in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final at Pittsburgh, which went on to win the Stanley Cup on Sunday. Bishop’s .939 save percentage in the 2016 playoffs was the best in a single season in Lightning history and ranked second best in the NHL behind Washington’s Braden Holtby. Bishop’s .927 career playoff save percentage (36 games played) ranks first all-time among Tampa Bay goalies with a minimum of five appearances.

2.06 – regular season goals-against average

Bishop is actually tied with John Grahame for this record after matching Grahame’s GAA from the 2003-04 season. But when accounting for games played – Bishop played 61 games in 2015-16, Grahame only 29 during the 2003-04 campaign -- Bishop’s 2.06 checks in as more impressive.

Bishop dominates this section of the Lightning record book. What are the next highest single-season GAAs in Bolts history? Bishop owns those marks too (actually he owns the next two). Bishop’s 2.23 GAA during the 2013-14 season ranks third all-time in Bolts history and his 2.32 GAA the following season is fourth.

2.24 – career goals-against average

Bishop came into the 2015-16 season with a 2.51 GAA during his time with Tampa Bay, trailing only Nikolai Khabibulin (2.39 GAA). Courtesy of his record-breaking 2.06 regular season GAA in 2015-16, Bishop pulled in front of Khabibulin and now sports a 2.24 GAA with the Bolts. Incidentally, Andrei Vasilevskiy, who, at 40 games played, hasn’t quite hit the 50 games played threshold to be counted in the record book, would rank third in Lightning history for career GAA at 2.60.

16 – career shutouts

Bishop passed Khabibulin for most shutouts on the Bolts with No. 15 against the Arizona Coyotes on March 19, 2016. Bishop made 32 saves against the Coyotes. The Lightning won 2-0. Bishop would record one more shutout – a 34-save performance against Toronto on March 28 – and two more playoff shutouts, both in series-clinching victories, during the 2016-17 season.

21 – playoff victories

Bishop undoubtedly would have passed Khabibulin for most playoff victories had he been able to stay healthy during the Eastern Conference Final. As it stands now, Bishop and Khabibulin share the record currently, each goalie registering 21 career playoff victories. Bishop pulled into a tie with Khabibulin after blanking the New York Islanders in Game 5 of the Second Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs behind a 28-save performance.

115 – career wins

Bishop eclipsed the Lightning career win mark early in the season in a 2-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres at Amalie Arena on October 17, 2015. Bishop made 31-of-32 saves – and the Bolts needed every one of them in a narrow win over a plucky Sabres squad – to record his 84th win with the Lightning and pass Khabibulin (83) for most in team history.

Bishop finished the year with 35 victories, giving him 115 in a Lightning sweater.

UPCOMING MILESTONES

206 – games played

Bishop has played in 195 games with the Lightning, 11 away from tying Daren Puppa for most in Bolts history.

4,959 – career saves

Bishop will likely need just one more regular season game to own the Lightning’s career saves mark. Puppa has 4,959 total stops. Bishop is second with 4,935. Bishop would surpass Puppa’s saves total with 25 more stops, which could realistically happen on Opening Night of the 2016-17 season.

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