Lightning coach Jon Cooper talks about players' 'noise' and rest dangers in playoffs

Lightning coach Jon Cooper talks about players’ ‘noise’ and rest dangers in playoffs

Since he first took over as head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning in March 2013, John Cooper has watched just about everything.

He experienced first-hand the thrill of winning it all – twice – and crushing defeat in many forms, from first-round sweeps and Match 7 losses to watching the team across the ice lift the trophy for you.

But this spring brings a new sensation to successive champions: comfort.

“It’s a little different, actually. We’ve had a pretty good run here over the past decade and unfortunately I’ve been on the sweep – bad ending – a few times, but never on the good end,” Cooper said during an appearance on Thursday’s Jeff Maric Show. “This was a little different for us. Cooper Lightning needed just four games to lock down the Florida Panthers in the second round, and their sweep was dominant as it came out. The Panthers managed just three goals in all series against Tampa Bay – but the Lightning didn’t come out.” Absolutely healthy.

“Unlike in any other year, maybe at this point, we haven’t been much apart from what I remember in the past,” said Cuper, who has watched several of his players walk down the tunnel to the locker room over the course of the course. Of the club’s first 11 games after the season ended, most returned to play a little worse. Among the most notable injuries and bruises is star striker Brayden Point, who was injured during Tampa Bay’s seventh game win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. He’s missed all four of Tampa Bay’s second-round games, and it’s unclear if he’ll be able to make a comeback during this round.

“Rest vs. rust” is a common game-time debate in every sport, but one that’s new to Cooper – and like this group of players, Cooper remains unconvinced that rest is always best.

“I don’t know if I like having that huge break, just because yeah, you can get kind of a physical side of it to try to heal as much as possible, but as far as there’s this mental side that you worry about the edge and being in the fight and all those things that, naturally The case, you only lose it when you have a lot of time,” he said. Lightning returned to training Thursday after a two-day break after wrapping up his streak against Florida. They could end up waiting a week between matches – if the series between the Carolinas and the New York Rangers, currently tied 2-2, requires seven games, Lightning won’t know their opponent until Monday night.

However, Cooper acknowledged that his roster has enough veterans and enough winning experience now to “understand where we are, and the scale of this situation.”

“The last few years, even the years we haven’t won, it’s just kind of building to get where we are today,” he said. “So, that mental aspect — there’s no doubt. But the one thing you can’t replicate is getting hit. We skied today, but there’s no connection as much as you can get. Those are the things — making plays under pressure when someone attacks you, no.” You can repeat these things. And when you’re in the playoffs and you’re in the fight, these things never go away. This becomes second nature. So, these are the little things, for the coach, to worry about. Don’t put your buddies in a state of wear and tear, but I also hope that Being able to get back in the ring and have everything go right.”



2022-05-26 22:32:00

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.