Ben Bishop, who will start in net Saturday against the San Jose Sharks, was supposed to be the answer in Dallas. The Stars, with a return to the playoffs on their minds, traded for Bishop’s negotiating rights and signed him to a six-year deal worth nearly $30 million. After two seasons of subpar goaltending from Antti Niemi and Kari Lehtonen seemingly sunk the team, Dallas wanted a proven option. On paper, he seemed like an immediate upgrade. Entering this season, Bishop was 14th out of the 40 goalies that played at least 5000 minutes since 2013 in five-on-five save percentage (.927), according to Corsica Hockey. Antti Niemi and Kari Lehtonen, his predecessor and current backup, respectively, ranked 35th and 36th over that stretch. With that in mind, Bishop’s contract may have even seemed like a bit of a bargain, considering 16 goalies carried a higher salary cap hit entering this season. Bishop’s been anything but this year. He’s 25th in five-on-five save percentage (.917) among the 29 goalies that have played 1000 minutes this season, despite Dallas’ defensive improvement. Under Ken Hitchcock, the formerly run-and-gun Stars have been the league’s best team at suppressing shots (27.72 five-on-five shots against per 60 minutes) and shot attempts (52.01 five-on-five attempts against per 60 minutes).
Why Stars goalie Ben Bishop is a cautionary tale for Martin Jones, Sharks
NBC Sports Bay Area | Jan 2