Friday, March 15, 2019

Ben Bishop Jersey Card

Once again, Ben Bishop is quietly having a Vezina consideration-worthy season, leading the league in save percentage. He is by far the biggest reason why the Dallas Stars will be making the playoffs, especially since Jamie Benn's having a very difficult season with just 47 points in 67 games so far.

Sportsnet conducted an analysis comparing Bishop's save percentage in just about every situation not just to the rest of the league but also his backup Anton Khudobin (who "benefits" from the same offense-depleted roster and playing style), so despite seeing fiercest competition by definition of his #1 role, Bishop's outplaying everybody in the NHL except likely Vezina winner Andrei Vasilevskiy this season, who trails him by one point (.933 vs .932):
Sure, the three-game shutout streak (breaking Ed Belfour's old record by five minutes before leaving the game with a lower-body injury) helped with his stats line, but he was having an MVP season until then anyway. He already had three shutouts in the bank on a team whose defense reads like a who's who of who's who: star defenseman John Klingberg missed 18 games due to an injury, Miro Heiskanen is a rookie, Esa Lindell is looking like a good second-pairing defender, and Ben Lovejoy, Taylor Fedun and Roman Polak are supposed to be extras who won't produce much offensively but will finish with a +/- of around 0 in a good year yet were pushed onto roles that may be bigger than they can handle because Julius Honka (29 games played) and Marc Methot (9) were each sidelined for most of the season.

The team's Top-10 scoring leaders also looks like that of a team waiting for the lottery to give them a high draft pick:
from HockeyDB
And yet, not only do they look like a lock for the playoffs, they may even finish above Wild Card status:
This, to me, has Bishop as a nominee for the Hart Trophy (league MVP) as well, likely finishing third behind Tampa Bay Lightning magician Nikita Kucherov and Calgary Flames leader Johnny Gaudreau.

And so I thought it'd be a good moment to focus on card #GJ-BI from Upper Deck's 2018-19 Series 1 set and UD Game Jersey sub-set:
You might recall it from a Box Break from late December. It shows him wearing the Stars' beautiful green (away) uniform with 25th Anniversary (of their move to Dallas) patch, and prominently featuring a white game-worn jersey swatch.

No comments:

Post a Comment