As the NHL season begins this week, three former UMaine Black Bear goalies will have a major impact on their team. Ben Bishop, Jimmy Howard and Scott Darling.

In Tampa Bay, Ben Bishop is the guy. He started 62 regular season games and won 40. He started 25 playoff games and won 13. His Lightning made it all the way to the Cup Finals, only to lose to the Chicago Blackhawks. Bishop played that finals series with a groin injury.

He'll need to stay healthy as the new season begins because Tampa Bay's young, hotshot goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy had surgery to remove a blood clot from his shoulder just last month.

Scott Darling will back up Chicago Blackhawks starter Corey Crawford. He had a 9-4 recored and a GAA of 1.94 after getting called up from the AHL.

Darling really proved his worth in the first round of the NHL playoffs when Crawford struggled and got pulled. Darling won three games in that series against Nashville and would finish playing in five games on the way to Chicago's Stanley Cup championship run.

Jimmy Howard is in a battle with young Petr Mrazek for the Detroit Red Wings starting job. Howard lost that job during the playoffs last year but has played very well in the preseason. The Wings have a new coach, Jeff Blashill, and it sound like there will be a lot of platooning early in the season.