Monday, April 27, 2015

Ben Bishop Jersey Card

I hinted at this card when I featured Ray Bourque two weeks ago, and with his win a few minutes ago against the Detroit Red Wings, I thought it'd be a good time to talk about Ben Bishop again.

One of last year's Vezina Trophy finalists, Bishop didn't play particularly well tonight, and wasn't as good this season as some might have hoped, with a 2.32 GAA and .916 save percentage - but those were fine numbers for a team that finished first in scoring and who were finding the right balance of defensive play for the surprise offensive prowess its second line was giving them.

I'd say Bishop ranks second among American-born NHL goalies these days (behind super-clutch Conn Smythe winner Jonathan Quick), and third among my own favourite goalies (behind Jaroslav Halak and Corey Crawford).

He's huge (6'7'', 220 pounds), covers a whole lot of the net, has lightning-quick reflexes and is in the top-5 in puckhandling - even posting a 2-assist game against my hometown Montréal Canadiens (and their own fine puck-moving goalie in Carey Price). He's bound to have another Vezina-caliber season soon, as the many Cinderella stories (Price, Devan Dubnyk) this season has laid witness to will likely not be repeated, and the law of averages should prevail. His quality starts percentage is impressive, and has been throughout his entire career; those are the types of numbers that never lie.

So when I was able to grab this card for a buck on Ebay along with the aforementioned Bourque one, I didn't think twice:

Don't let the penny sleeve fool you, this card's actually in better shape than the Bourque one.
It's from Upper Deck's 2014-15 Trilogy set (#T-TBL3 of the Tryptichs sub-set, numbered 237/400), showing him wearing the Bolts' blue (home) uniform, with a matching game-worn jersey swatch.

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