Signing New Backup Goalie Must be Lightning’ Off-Season Objective
Every team needs two solid goaltenders if they intend on being successful for a prolonged period of time. You can look at teams like the Los Angeles Kings and the New Jersey Devils for prime examples of this two-headed monster mindset. Teams like the Tampa Bay Lightning, on the other hand, are examples of how not to rely on a one-two system in goal. While starting goalie Ben Bishop has been impressive for the majority of the season, holding a stat-line of 37-14-7 .924 SV percent, 2.23 GAA. Backup goalie Anders Lindback has been quite the opposite, as he has been weak throughout the season, holding a stat-line of 5-12-2 .878 SV percent, 3.26 GAA. This differential between goalies is a recipe for disaster, as the Lightning got a taste of earlier this season. Bishop sustained an injury on Jan. 5 against the the Edmonton Oilers which sidelined him early on in that game through Jan. 14. This gave Lindback the reigns for five games, in which he posted a record of 2-3-0 and a stat-line of 109/125 .872 SV percent, 3.20 GAA. If Bishop was to go down with a serious injury, including the possibility of a season ending injury, the Lightning would be stuck with Lindback and left scrambling for a free agent, or a trade, to come in and take over the starting position. That would be less than ideal not only because it would give the Lightning several unnecessary losses while they looked for a new goalie, but also because desperation could lead the Lightning’s front office to pay too much for a player they could have gotten for less. When the offseason comes along, the Lightning need to focus on obtaining a new backup goaltender for Bishop. Whether they do it through the draft, a signing or a trade, getting a new goalie needs to be priority No. 1, otherwise, they may need to do so when it’s already too late.