Cheapseats: Lalime helped Bishop pad stats

Ottawa Senator Ben Bishop against the  New York Rangers during second period NHL hockey action at...

Ottawa Senator Ben Bishop against the New York Rangers during second period NHL hockey action at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa. Thursday March 8,2012. (Errol McGihon/QMI Agency)

Don Brennan, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:13 AM ET

OTTAWA - Ben Bishop grew up 10 minutes from the old arena in St. Louis, and as a tall (we’re assuming) little boy, he’d often attend Blues games on his dad’s season tickets.

Other times, he and his high school buddies would buy off scalpers for five bucks.

“I remember going one night when they played the Senators, and we scalped some cheap tickets and sat right next to the glass,” the new Senators goalie said after Thursday’s morning skate. “I was little. And (Patrick) Lalime was playing, and he used to wear his pads so loose? That’s where I got the idea. I’ve always worn mine loose since.

“Kind of a funny story.”

With loose pads, Bishop has yet to lose as a Senator. The 25-year-old is now just 144 wins behind Lalime, the franchise’s all-time leader, after he improved to 2-0 by beating the Eastern Conference-leading Rangers Thursday night.

Bishop stopped 7-of-8 first-period shots — allowing only Ryan Callahan’s conversion of a Brad Richards setup to get by him — then all nine he faced in the second and all nine that came his way in the third.

His best might have been the quick skate save off a Ruslan Fedotenko chance in close, with Ottawa up 3-1 and the Rangers having six skaters on the ice.

Bishop’s strongest two saves in the second period were back-to-backers off Fedotenko, as well.

For the most part, he didn’t have to be spectacular, not like Robin Lehner was in a 2-1 loss to Chicago here last week. But when all was said and done, Bishop had made 25 saves and, with loose pads, moved closer to Lalime.

STARTS AND STOPS

Craig Anderson may be back sooner than we thought. The injured No. 1 goalie wasn’t even wearing a cast or wrap or bandage — and he actually shook hands with his right wounded one — when presented the Molson Cup cheque for being the team’s player of the month in February. Of course, there’s no way of knowing that Anderson didn’t suffer a setback in the kitchen when he got home ... Jim O’Brien made up for letting Callahan slip his check on the Rangers’ first goal covering Matt Gilroy’s point and quickly getting the puck to the net on Nick Foligno’s deflection that put Ottawa up 2-1 ... Almost all things Senator come from Sweden, so it’s no surprise that’s where Bishop’s new mask is being painted by custom mask painter David Gunnarsson of Daveart Designs. Bishop wore an all-white new mask for the Rangers game after having on his Blues equipment for his first win as a Senator, in Tampa on Tuesday. Bishop is letting Gunnarsson come up with his own idea for the new mask because, well frankly, Bishop’s been busy. “It kind of happened so fast, so let him handle this one,” Bishop said of the events that saw him traded to the Senators prior to the deadline. “Maybe over the off-season we’ll talk about getting a good one for next year.”

STUFF I THINK I THUNK

You remember why Matt “Big Country” Carkner should be in the lineup when you see John Scott (6-foot-8, 270 pounds) put Erik Karlsson hard into the boards twice on the same shift ... Halfway through the game with the shots 10-5 in favour of the Rangers, our first star is Senators D Jared Cowen. Not just for the big, open-ice hit he put on huge Brian Boyle, but more because of his hard defensive zone play to that point ... Zack Smith was an assist shy of scoring the Senators’ second Gordie Howe hat trick in consecutive games, but he deserves props for fighting Brandon Prust when there was really no need, with the game secured in the final moments ... Fans liked to see Jason Spezza score to put the team up 4-1, but they wish he would have hung on to the puck for 27 seconds before cashing the empty-netter. The new promotion had everyone getting a Wendy’s Baconator if the team scored in the last minute.

BETWEEN PERIODS

It never fails. Rob Klinkhammer gets called “Colonel Klink” by teammates whenever he joins a new club. You know, as in the character from Hogans Heroes? “But to everyone back in Lethbridge, that’s my dad. That’s the old man. He’s the Colonel,” said Klinkhammer, the Senators winger who picked up his first NHL point when he assisted on Kyle Turris’ third-period goal and was named the game’s third star. It was the third outing as a Senator for Klinkhammer, who has good size and skating ability. Oh, and a great hockey name. His other nicknames? “Klink usually. I’ve got a lot of weird ones. Klink is usually the one they go with. But also Hammer. Stinkhammer. Weird things. Any variation. They’re all weird,” he said ... ... Strong effort by the sign makers from Merivale High School, who had a least at least two dozen holders of a hand-drawn poster come together in a salute to Daniel Alfredsson, then Karlsson, then Spezza and anyone else I missed.

THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO HMMM

The Senators have an all-time record of 1-0 when Chris Phillips plays with a broken nose. The veteran had a solid game wearing an extended shield to protect the first broken beak of his life, which happened when he collided with Adam Hall in Tampa Tuesday ... Karlsson could have started a small riot when he fired the puck into the open net after the play was whistled down and Foligno given a penalty for running over Marty Biron. That’s just a hockey no-no, right? Well Callahan immediately turned and skated in Karlsson’s direction, but he couldn’t have wanted him too bad as he was re-routed by a linesman’s arm ... How many times is it now in his career that Smith has scored with a shot that looked like it had no business beating the goalie? Either Smith’s efforts are sneaky strong or the goalie, in this case Biron, was just bad on the play.

don.brennan@sunmedia.ca 


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