Nobody outside of the Lightning locker room knows why Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop left Game 2 of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final. Nobody knows if he's going to start tonight or even play again this season. That's not going to stop us (me) from telling you exactly what's happening (unless I'm totally wrong).
In re-capping Saturday night's 4-3 win by the Lightning in Game 2 of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final, I said this about Ben Bishop leaving the game and being replaced by Andrei Vasilevskiy during the third period...
"Okay then. The matter is now open to baseless speculation, but that's really not what we do here at Raw Charge so we're going to leave that alone for now. Make no mistake, it's the story for the Lightning as the series moves forward until the team issues official communication that renders it not."
What the hell was I thinking? This is the Stanley Cup Final! We only get here, what, every 11 years or so? This is the ultimate prime-time! We have to provide pages to view, links to link to, clicks to bait (alternate headline for this article: "When Bishop did this, I couldn't believe what Vasilevskiy did next!!!").
With that in mind, here are several possible theories I'm throwing mindlessly against the wall, in no particular order, with the hope that one of them sticks, allowing me to claim the title of Genius, unless they're all hooey allowing me to retain the title of Boob. Either way, I absolutely guarantee that one of these theories could possibly be completely rock-solid 100% accurate. Maybe.
1. Bishop was injured, specifically his knee - This one would seem to be dispelled by the fact that he participated in the morning skate in Chicago today, where he took shots. Also, by this tweet yesterday:
If Bishop is going all Good Samaritan on the media one day and taking shots in practice the next, he probably didn't sustain a serious knee injury.
2. Bishop was dehydrated - John covered this, along with other reasonable (aka not what we're doing here) speculation in this article published earlier. It's a good theory in that dehydration is a nasty condition and is definitely serious enough to cause someone to leave a game and not come back. It's not like he could chug a bottle of one of many popular sports drinks and spring back into action, like in the commercials for the many popular sports drinks. That's being thirsty. Dehydration requires medical attention and may be treated with intavenous therapy (IV) and/or pickle juice.
3. Bishop had, um, digestive distress - This is the one that the wacky morning radio shows are running (oh God, I'm so sorry) with. "OMG, Bishop had diarrhea! Hee hee, ha ha! (Insert utterly horrible Darren Puppa joke and wildly tasteless-yet-appropriate sound effect here)". Jason Garrison was asked about this Saturday night and replied that wasn't the case, which I'm guessing is not something Jason Garrison will consider a career highlight.
4. Lightning coach Jon Cooper was trolling Joel Quenneville -
COOPER: "Hey Andrei, go out there and take Ben's spot for a bit."
VASILEVSKIY: "You got it, coach."
BISHOP: "Say coach, what gives?"
COOPER: "You'll see. Get back out there."
BISHOP: "All right."
COOPER: "Okay, Andrei. Get back out there again."
VASILEVSKIY: "Okey dokey, coach!"
QUENNEVILLE: "Hey! What are you guys doing over there?"
COOPER: "Sorry, I can't tell you that."
QUENNEVILLE: "Can't? Or won't?"
(Admittedly, this exact theory is a stretch in that it requires you to believe that Andrei Vasilevskiy speaks conversational American English complete with colloquialisms and that Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville, who has won two Stanley Cups is as easily befuddled as Homer Simpson. But parts of it could be sorta true.)
5. Ben Bishop is involved somehow with the Kardashian family - There is no basis whatsoever to this one. None. Completely baseless, irresponsible and empty-headed supposition, rooted in nothing remotely factual. But there's a lot going on with that family and remember what I said about links and page views and click bait? Before you dismiss this outright, please know that I actually did put a lot of thought into this one, and it is literally the stupidest thing I could think of.