Meet the other ‘Big Ben’
On a team built around goaltending and defense, Ben Bishop is integral to the Dallas Stars’ success.
Indeed, the man known as “Big Ben” for his 6-feet-7-inch stature has been among the NHL’s best goalies through the season’s first two-plus months and especially during the recent Stars’ 14-1-1 run. In a stretch that spanned Oct. 19 through Nov. 25, he stopped 287 of 305 shots for a save percentage of 94.1. For the season (as of early December), he’s sporting a .928 save percentage and a goals-against average of 2.20, which places him seventh among the game’s elite.
But despite his stellar play, the 33-year-old Denver native has not been immune to getting an early hook. That happened twice during the Stars’ hot streak: on Oct. 29 after giving up two goals on 10 shots in an eventual 6-3 win over Minnesota; and on Nov. 16 after surrendering three scores in 15 tries in an eventual 5-4 overtime victory over Edmonton. In both cases, Anton Khudobin came in and got the wins and Bishop was left to accept then-head coach Jim Montgomery’s explanation that he was merely going with his gut.
“If we win the game, (I) can’t disagree with him,” Bishop conceded afterward.
Bishop and the Stars can be seen in action Wednesday, Jan. 1, on NBC, when they face off against the Nashville Predators outdoors at the Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas in what has become a New Year’s Day tradition, the annual NHL Winter Classic.
Full name: Louis Tyrone Williams
Birth date: Oct. 27, 1986
Birthplace: Memphis, Tenn.
Height/weight: 6 feet, 1 inch/175 pounds
Teams: Philadelphia 76ers (2005-12), Atlanta Hawks (2012-14), Toronto Raptors (2014-15) Los Angeles Lakers (2015-17), Houston Rockets (2017), Los Angeles Clippers (2019-present)
Draft: Selected in the second round (45th overall) by the 76ers in 2005
Honors and achievements: Three-time Sixth Man of the Year (2015, 2018, 2019), Naismith Prep Player of the Year (2005), McDonald’s All-American (2005), Mr. Georgia Basketball (2005)