Ben Bishop was the first member of the Dallas Stars to be blamed for their brutal first period in Game 5 of the Western Conference Second Round on Monday.
Bishop, a starter surprised because he was declared unfit to play by coach Rick Bowness earlier today, did not last 14 minutes.
It has been replaced by Anton Khudobin after allowing four goals on 19 shots in 13:43, a rough start that raised questions about Bishop’s readiness to play in a Stanley Cup Playoff game.
“We make decisions based on the information we have that you don’t have,” Bowness said. “The best decision at the time was to follow [Bishop]. Yesterday he looked really sharp. He didn’t skate this morning, but he was feeling good. He felt ready to go. ”
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Ninety seconds after hearing Bishop fall on his sword, forward Andrew Cogliano absolved him and put the blame for what happened in the first period squarely on the skaters in front of him, saying that the suggestion that they dropped Bishop was “an understatement.” ”
Dallas allowed five goals in 9:50 to fall behind 5-0 with 5:33 left in the first. They allowed the last four goals in a 2:36 streak, a second short of the NHL record for the fastest four goals in playoff history, by the Montreal Canadiens against the Maple Leafs of Toronto in the 1944 semi-final.
“Our first 10 minutes was an absolute joke,” Cogliano said. ” [Bishop] gonna take the blame and put it on itself, but let’s be honest we were excruciating in the first 10 minutes. It was 5-0 with [five] minutes remaining in the period. It has nothing to do with our goalkeepers. We are wasting our time if we are talking about our goalkeepers. We have the luxury of having these two, and when [Bishop] It is in the net that we fully trust him. We let it down. ”
Maybe so, but Bowness then stepped onto the podium for his Zoom press conference and he didn’t let forwards, defenders or Bishop skate with all the blame.
“We just weren’t ready to play, we weren’t ready to compete,” Bowness said. “Point your finger at me and go down your way. No one was ready. To defend ourselves against this team, it takes work. We overwhelmed ourselves. There is no embedding. It was clear what was going on. outdated and that starts with being ready to play. We weren’t. ”
For starters, the Stars still have a 3-2 lead in the best-of-7 series heading into Game 6 in Edmonton, the Midwest City on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS) after they played what was their worst playoff game by far, including the Stanley Cup playoff round robin game.
“When your team isn’t ready, you better just watch yourself and see what we’ve been up to over the past 24 hours,” Bowness said. “Let’s take a good look. We had a good discussion with them after the game and we will come back to it tomorrow. ”
He will have to address the starting goalkeeper for Game 6. Or maybe he already has.
Bishop did nothing to show he should start ahead of Khudobin, who made 20 saves on 22 shots from the field after starting the previous eight games because Bishop was injured and unfit to play.
In fact, Bowness said he was considering returning to Bishop to start the second period so he could give Khudobin more rest, but he dismissed that idea when he saw how Khudobin was playing.
“The team weren’t playing well, we were bombed, and he fought so hard in the net it would have been difficult to do. [go back to Bishop]Bowness said.
This battle is a good indication of where Bowness is leaning for his starter in Game 6, but the Stars will have a lot of trouble if they find themselves talking about blame and where it should go.
“Communicate with the guys and make sure we’re ready to go,” Star Captain Jamie Benn said of his leadership role. “We weren’t tonight. “