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Can another stellar run from Bishop help Stars take next step?

Veteran netminder looks to continue the elite form that made him runner-up for the Vezina Trophy last season

by Mike Heika @MikeHeika / Senior Staff Writer

Ben Bishop

Position: Goalie

Catches: Left

Height and weight: 6-foot-7, 215 pounds

Age: 32

Contract: In third year of six-year deal that averages $4.9 million a season

 

About last year

Video: Top 10 saves of 2018-19: Bishop

Runner-up for Vezina Trophy after posting 27-15-2 record with a 1.98 GAA and .934 save percentage. Bishop made a strong statement as he returned to being one of the top goalies in the league in his second season in Dallas. He also led the Stars in to the second round of the playoffs and played one of his best games of the year in a Game 7 loss to eventual Stanley Cup champion St. Louis.

 

Overview

Video: Ranking the top goaltenders in the Central Division

After twice being a finalist for the Vezina Trophy with Tampa Bay (2014 and 2016), Bishop was passed by youngster Andrei Vasilevskiy and traded away to Los Angeles in 2017. He struggled with the Kings and eventually landed with the Stars. After a transition season with Dallas, he returned to Vezina form and put up spectacular numbers in a solid defensive system under new head coach Jim Montgomery and new defensive assistant Rick Bowness.

While he has battled injury issues throughout his career and did so again last season, Bishop was fantastic during the regular season and showed up big in the playoffs last year. His 52-save performance in a 2-1 double-overtime loss in Game 7 against the Blues made the statement that he is ready to compete at the highest level for the Stars, and his runner-up finish in the Vezina creates more hunger for 2019-20.

 

Going forward

Video: 31 in 31: Dallas Stars 2019-20 preview

Bishop seems to be in a very good place right now. He understands his body and is managing any sort of nagging injuries well. Having a solid backup in Anton Khudobin helps in that regard, and if the Stars are playing well and in a good place in the standings, the coaching staff should be able to pace Bishop during the regular season and get him ready for the playoffs.

That's where the real test will be for the soon-to-be 33-year-old (Nov. 21). Bishop has three years left on a very good contract, but the time for the Stars (and him) to win is right now.

The pressure is high, but his career seems to have led him to this place and he should be ready for it.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club.

Mike Heika is a Senior Staff Writer for DallasStars.com and has covered the Stars since 1994. Follow him on Twitter @MikeHeika.

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