ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Ben Bishop can hit the long ball, too.
Bishop hit four home runs, including two in a row at one point, in batting practice before the Tampa Bay Rays hosted the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday night.
”I got a couple lucky swings,” he said. ”You can definitely feel it when you hit it on the sweet spot and it goes. It was fun.”
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The good news for Lightning fans was that Bishop, who missed one game due to a groin injury during the Stanley Cup Final loss to the Chicago Blackhawks, was able to hit and even run the bases after his first shot over the left-field wall.
”I was tired after I got about to third base,” Bishop said with a smile. ”I feel healthier. Definitely feeling better. It’s getting better every day.”
Bishop was joined by several other Lightning players, including team captain Steven Stamkos.
”This is a game that I love,” Stamkos said. ”I know what’s going on out there. These guys are tremendous athletes. This isn’t an easy sport to play, as proved by my session. It’s fun.”
Stamkos, who is entering the final season of his contract, and the Lightning will be holding discussions on a new deal.
”I’ll get back home this week and I’m sure we’ll go from there,” Stamkos said. ”That stuff is going to take care of itself. I think it’s a bigger story now because we went so deep (into the playoffs). I’m not losing any sleep over it.”
Tampa Bay dropped the Cup Final in six games to the Blackhawks in the team’s second trip to the championship series. The Lightning won the Stanley Cup in 2004 by beating the Calgary Flames in seven games.