By the time you read this, the Dallas Stars may have announced their starting goalie for Game 6. Should interim head coach Rick Bowness put in Ben Bishop, who was so heroic in the 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs? Or will he stick with Anton Khudobin, who backstopped the Stars into a Round 2 advantage that not even Monday’s 6-3 loss could negate entirely?
It’s a crucial question. The Stars have another chance to close the deal early against the Colorado Avalanche, and upsetting the balance in goal appeared to have doomed them early in Game 5. Stars senior staff writer Mike Heika examines Bowness’ latest moves in a new article:
Bowness did clarify a lot of things on Tuesday, saying that the Stars had been watching Bishop closely, and that the 33-year-old veteran had looked good in practice. So when the team had the chance to rest Khudobin, who had been on a run of eight games in 16 days, they took it.
Of course, they also had to get the green light from Bishop, who has been battling an undisclosed injury and has not even dressed as a back-up.
“When your No. 1 goalie comes to you and says he wants to play and he’s ready to play, that makes the decision a little easier,” Bowness said.
Bishop’s short, surprising return from an undisclosed malady didn’t end well. And it may have made it difficult to remember that he was last season’s Vezina Trophy runner-up and carried a .933 save percentage in the 2019 playoffs. Bowness had something to say about that, too:
“The starting goalie is not the issue. The issue is how we played in front of the starting goalie, whether it was Dobby, the kid Jake (Oettinger) or Bish,” Bowness said. “We just had to play better in front of him. The starting goalie is not the issue.”…
“We’ll have discussions as a staff, we’ll see who is the best fit for that game tomorrow night,” Bowness said Tuesday. “It’ll come down to that. Our preference is never to play a goalie back-to-back unless you absolutely have to. We have the day off today, and we’ll see what it looks like tomorrow.”
There’s more at Mike’s place. [Dallas Stars]
Matthew DeFranks brings you the rest of the story on Bishop’s Game 5 return.
Nervous about Game 6? Let Razor help with that.
Sean Shapiro doesn’t know, and yet he does.
This is a complete gut feel and as we've been told, the Stars have information that we don't. But based off how things were handled/commented you have to imagine the Stars are heavily considering giving Bishop the Game 6 start.— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) September 1, 2020
Around The League(s)
In dramatic fashion, the Flyers won another game in overtime, and staved off elimination in the process. Game 6, here we come! RECAP: https://t.co/I2gMMDWyCX— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) September 2, 2020
Rookie goalie makes 43 saves to help Vancouver extend series against Vegashttps://t.co/4v1C3lgRMv— Hockey Night in Canada (@hockeynight) September 2, 2020
The Tampa Bay Lightning have punched their ticket to the Eastern Conference finals, but they hope they won’t have to start the round without franchise forward Nikita Kucherov.
The Lightning are not sure whether they'll have leading scorer Nikita Kucherov available to begin the Eastern Conference Final or who their opponent will be in the next round, the Islanders or Flyers.https://t.co/WsDU6EEXjM— NHL.com (@NHLdotcom) September 2, 2020
The Eastern Conference’s bubble hotel axed an existing catering contract to hire a provider that owns a stake in the Pittsburgh Penguins. Now they’re getting sued into the ground.
Catering employees at Toronto's Hotel X were excited when they heard the NHL bubble was headed to their spot. Instead, their contract was terminated — impacting more than 200 workers.— Toronto Star (@TorontoStar) September 1, 2020
Now, they're suing the hotel for $60-million.https://t.co/SnC217f2kO
And THN’s Matt Larkin takes a look at the next big names who are getting ice time in the European leagues.
Well, that settles it. Get ready for the Western Conference finals, Stars fans.