Just as the
Jon Cooper tried to defer questions on Bishop's status Sunday by evoking the prickly demeanor of one of his coaching predecessors. "In honor of the 11-year anniversary of our organization's first Stanley Cup, how would
Tortorella wouldn't answer, that's how. "I'll just leave it at that," Cooper said.
But in saying he didn't know who will start Monday at the United Center, Cooper said a lot. "I don't, which would tell you, if I don't know, that Bish could be available," Cooper said at a news conference Sunday.
Russian-born Vasilevskiy, 20, stopped five shots in 9:13 for his appreciative teammates. "If Bish can't go [Monday], is that a blow to us? Sure it is," Cooper said. "But do we think the series is lost because Vasilevskiy is going in? Not a chance. I look at our tandem, I'd like to stack them up against any tandem in the league because I think we've got 1 and 1A."
The key differences are Bishop's height — he's 6 feet 7 to Vasilevskiy's 6-3 — his experience and his superb puck-handling skills. However, defenseman
It's apparently all the same to the Blackhawks too. "I don't really care who's going to be in the net. I know they're good goalies both," said Finnish forward Teuvo Teravainen, who briefly gave Chicago a 2-1 lead Saturday with a rising shot during a second-period power play. "Especially, I've played against Vasilevskiy twice with the international team, so I know him a little bit. I think I've scored on him before too."
"He's shown throughout his career that he can bounce back and become the guy that we need and everybody expects him to be," defenseman
The bigger impact of those two goals might be fueling the confidence of the "Triplets," Kucherov, Johnson and Ondrej Palat, who were held scoreless in Game 1. Johnson ended a personal five-game drought and has given the line 30 of the Lightning's 60 postseason goals. He has a playoff-leading 13, with Kucherov at 10 and Palat at seven.
The Blackhawks' top line of
"As an offensive guy you want to be helping produce, especially at this time of year," said Kane, who has 111 points in 112 career playoff games. "But we said all along, with our team we don't really care where the goals come from, as long as they're coming from our team.
"I think I can help in that area. That's one of the reasons I'm on the team. That's one of my jobs here, is to try to produce offense. Hopefully start that up next game."