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Bishop Reveals Details of Groin Tear in Cup Final

It was obvious to those watching the Stanley Cup Final that Ben Bishop was playing while injured, and after his devastating series loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday night, he finally confirmed those reports.

Although he was quoted as saying that the injury occurred in the second period of game two, he may have been remembering incorrectly.

The only shot that Brad Richards had in the second period of that game was a tip-in. Bishop brushed that one aside and recovered with ease.

It’s more likely that he was referring to this slap shot that Richards took in the early portions of the third period in that game.


That save forced Bishop to extend his right leg quickly, which is what likely led to the tear in his right groin muscle.

A few moments after that shot was taken, another one came from Johnny Oduya at the point. Bishop clearly begins to stretch out his right leg after the whistle blows, sensing that something doesn’t feel right.


A few minutes later, the next time the Blackhawks had pressure in the Lightning zone, it becomes even clearer that Bishop is injured.

With the puck behind the net, he attempts to push from his right to his left – but immediately recoils in pain. Now he realizes that it could possibly be a serious injury.


At the next whistle on an offside, Bishop offers another subtle hint that he is injured when he gingerly skates over to his defenceman Braydon Coburn and says something to him. It’s possible that he was telling him to alert the training staff, because he would leave the ice at the next commercial break.


This all happens within a three minute span, and Bishop would exit the game shortly thereafter. He would return, but it was a brief reappearance, leaving Andrei Vasilevskiy in net for the rest of the game to seal the victory.

Vasilevskiy would only start a single game in the series, with Bishop returning to finish the series in noticeable pain. His collision with his own defenceman Victor Hedman, while embarrassing, probably didn’t help the healing process either.

NBC commentator Mike Milbury had some harsh remarks after the series finished about the Lightning players choosing to reveal their injuries so soon after the game.

“I don’t want to hear about it as an excuse just after the series is over. Lick your wounds, go home and tell me in a week.”

“I really don’t like it that there’s a rush to come out and tell us that they’ve been injured warriors. Of course they were, and I’ve given them tons of credit for the way they’ve played. I don’t like handling it this way. Go home, tell us in a couple of days. Let the Hawks enjoy their victory without some sort of tainting it because of injuries to the opponent.”

Although his criticism may be a bit out of line, Milbury does have a point that teams usually wait until the exit meeting to reveal their playoff injuries. In this case, Bishop was pressured to reveal that information sooner.

The Lightning now have an entire offseason to reflect upon the series that got away, with many question marks.

Was playing through the pain the right move for Bishop? Should they have played Vasilevskiy in more than just one game? How would they have fared with a healthy Ben Bishop for games three through six?

There are no answers to these questions. The only thing that Ben Bishop and the Lightning can do is prepare to beat them next season.

About The Author

Greg Balloch

Greg Balloch is a Vancouver-based writer for InGoal Magazine, broadcaster for Sportsnet 650, and goaltending coach. His career began in Hamilton, Ontario with the Junior 'A' Hamilton Red Wings, before moving to Vancouver to cover the Canucks on the radio and work with the Surrey Eagles of the BCHL. A lifelong goaltender, he has been teaching the position for over a decade.


  1. Sean

    I was wondering why Bishop didn’t butterfly slide to his left and instead chose to stack the pads on the 1st goal by Keith in Game 6. It seemed like Bish would have been fine staying up, sliding left, and using blocking techniques when Keith got his own rebound. I see now that he has injured right groin so that push/slide could have been hurtful or too timely I guess. Why not put Vasi in if that’s the case? … Like you said “There are no answers to these questions.” … Great playoff run Bolts!

  2. sungod61

    Mike Milbury is a douche bag who likes to hear the sound of his own voice! wish he would go away

  3. Nico

    Why even play Bishop if he was injured? Vasilevskiy at 100% is better than Bishop with an injured groin.

    • Paul Ipolito

      Absolutely! One possible correction- He wasn’t “played”, He decided he was OK to play. “Hero” goalies make for great barstool discussions but they also make lousy playoff decisions.

    • Brody

      Good thing Bishop did not give up a soft goal due to his groin injury. Then the Coach would have been at fault. I have to assume the medical staff shot Bishop up with cortisone and other drugs so he would not feel the real pain. Big risk doing that but have to assume that is what they did. I was impressed with Vasilevskiy. he made need to find a new team. He looks to good not to play at least 50 % of the games in a season. he is too young to not be playing.

  4. Pascal Bolduc

    First, I don’t know why Milbury’s comments are still heard. He is an elephant from yesteryears and should be replaced by a modern days expert. Second, this wasn’t the kind of injury that no one knew about or was just wondering (i.e., there must be something wrong since he hasn’t scored in 10 games or he avoids contact). This was just apparent and everyone knew about it so the game is over, now just tell us.

  5. Paul Ipolito

    “Hero” goalies don’t do their teams any favors.

    • Brody

      That is the Coach’s decision. We have to assume Bishop was given pain killers and maybe cortisone shots which can only make the injury worse. He is lucky that he did not give up a really soft goal in the series. Overall he played well.

      • Paul Ipolito

        Unless the coach is a medical doctor he goes on what the goalie tells him.

  6. Matt

    Regardless of which goalie played the result would be the same. Last time I checked the goalie doesn’t put the puck in the net. Remember there was not more than a one goal lead until period three of game six.

  7. Ken

    We’ll never know if playing Vasilevskiy would have paid off, but I felt that he should’ve gotten the start in Game 5, since he played well in the 2-1 loss in Game 4. Although Bishop didn’t end up giving up any goals due to his injury, it was selfish to put himself ahead of the team. I respect Bishop’s battle mentality and understand his desire to not want to miss the Stanley Cup Finals, but I think Cooper should’ve overridden Bishop’s wishes and played Vasilevskiy in Game 5. He’s young and inexperienced, but looked to give his team a better chance to win, since he was not only 100% but extremely athletic with strong edgework. On paper, playing Bishop didn’t strike me as the highest-percentage move for Tampa Bay’s chances of winning the Cup.