Do the Tampa Bay Lightning play differently when Ben Bishop is in the net as opposed to Anders Lindback?

"That's a hard question to ask," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said.

It's because Cooper and his players don't want it to appear like they're throwing Lindback under the bus and blaming him for their 10 regulation losses in his 16 decisions, or for the 50 goals he's allowed in 17 games, compared to the 58 goals Bishop has allowed in his 33 games.

Bishop has allowed three or more goals five times this season; Lindback has done it 10 times in roughly half the minutes.

"It's tough because Lindy [Lindback] is a popular guy in the room and the guys may press a little bit harder just to get Lindy some goal support," Cooper said.
OK, so the answer is Tampa Bay does play differently when Bishop is in the net, but there's a good reason for it.

Confidence.

"When [Bishop] has been in there, he's grown into our game and we've grown with him," Cooper said. "You can just tell that guys aren't looking behind them. They are not afraid to make plays. They're not gripping the sticks as tight because they've got the confidence that he's going to make the save. So ultimately I guess your team does play a little different and it's translated into some wins for us.

"You know the old saying, 'Don't go out there and play not to lose, go out there and play to win. I think that's what we do when [Bishop] is in the net."

The Lightning are 23-5-3 in Bishop's 33 games this season. Entering play Thursday his .937 save percentage is the best in the NHL and his 1.83 goals-against average is second only to Josh Harding of the Minnesota Wild.