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Bishop feels healthy ahead of Stars training camp

Goaltender injured left knee last season, doesn't see there 'being any setbacks'

by Jeff Miller / Correspondent

FRISCO, Texas -- Ben Bishop said he is healthy with the Dallas Stars prepared to open training camp in Boise, Idaho, on Friday.

"The (left) knee feels great," the 31-year-old goaltender said after a workout Tuesday. "We've had some long days here pushing it really hard, and I haven't had any soreness or anything that goes along with it.

"I don't see there being any setbacks. Kind of get back in there, get your feet wet again. Kind of get used to that game speed, those rushes and more of those game scenarios. You can practice as much as you want to practice, but it doesn't compare to a game."

Bishop was 26-17-5 with a 2.49 goals-against average and .916 save percentage in 53 games (51 starts) last season. He injured his knee against the Ottawa Senators on March 5, missing five games, and reinjured it against the Winnipeg Jets on March 18, his second game back.

Bishop said that returning early from his injury last season probably wasn't smart, but he was motivated by the Stars' push for a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Dallas (42-32-8) finished three points behind the Colorado Avalanche for the second wild card into the playoffs from the Western Conference.

Video: DAL@WPG: Bishop leaves with injury after great save

"I should have waited a little bit longer," Bishop said. "But at that time in the standings, we were kind of in that time of need right there. You obviously try to push it to help the guys."

This offseason, Bishop remained in the Dallas area after his wife, Andrea, gave birth to their first child, Benjamin Manning Bishop IV, in May. He worked with Stars strength and conditioning coach Brad Jellis and forward Jamie Benn, focusing more on skating than he had in the past.

"Usually, I'll take three, four months off (from skating)," Bishop said. "We skated a couple times this summer every month. Then when I started skating with the guys, I didn't feel as out of it."

Stars goaltending coach Jeff Reese emphasized conditioning this offseason.

"If he can be in the best possible shape that he can be in, and prevent [injuries] from happening, then that's going to make a big difference," Reese said. "We certainly need [Bishop] to be healthy and play a lot of games for us to be successful."

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