Bishop Called Up, Oshie Named Alternate

Ben Bishop Called Up
Oshie Named an Alternate

Ben Bishop has been called up to join the team according to Andy Strickland due to Ty Conklin not making the trip due to a “personal family matter”. The team takes on San Jose Wednesday, Anaheim Thursday and LA Saturday on their trip out West and will be without Conklin until he rejoins the team sometime during their trip. Strickland also gave us news that T.J. Oshie has been named an alternate for team USA for the 2010 games.

Oshie had been hoping he might make the team USA cut due to his hard work and two-way presence on the ice, but we weren’t surprised to find there was no youth skater at the Winter Classic with Oshie’s name on the back of their jersey. However, news that he has been named an alternate is welcome, as it not only shows Oshie that his hard work has in fact been noticed, but it also still presents him with a legitimate shot to make the team. An injury here or there and we might see Oshie take the ice along with fellow Blues David Backes and Erik Johnson.At the very least, the Olympic squad even mentioning you in their plans should give confidence and an increased motivation to a young skater like Oshie.

Bishop on the other hand is a name we mostly overlooked this preseason as the Blues situation in net seemed solid enough backed by Chris Mason and Ty Conklin while the prospect watch mostly fell on Jake Allen.

Through the first quarter of the year, the play in net was one of the lone reliable and bright spots but as of late the goaltending has left a lot to be desired. Granted, Bishop’s presence on the team this week is only due to Conk’s family matter (one we hope is not serious) but it will be interesting to see how he will play (if he plays), assuming he has still only seen limited action and this is his first action of the 2009-10 season. Bishop started three games last season in his rookie campaign and made three other backup appearances on the way to a 1-1-1 record with a 2.94 GAA and a save percentage of .893.  Not the best start for the youngster, but keep in mind this is the only action he has seen in his brief NHL career.

Bishop does bring a lot of size to the table, standing tall at six foot, seven inches. His frame looms over the net, but his reflexes still make him a relatively quick netminder despite his large size. Bishop still has the tools to be a successful goaltender at the NHL level, and it should be fun to watch him man the pipes sometime out West for the Blues.

I doubt we will actually see Bishop in net and that this is more of a precautionary move until Conklin returns, but it does at the very least get Bishop back on our radar.