Listening to Lightning coach Jon Cooper and it’s clear he sees Tampa Bay as the team no one ever believed in. Now that the Lightning are down 2-0 to Montreal, he feels that opinion has intensified.
“So now you look in the room at those guys and what do we have to lose?” Cooper asked. “We’re on the road, everybody thinks we’re suppose to lose.”
For good measure, Cooper then tossed in a reference to Montreal winning Games 1 and 2 on the road against the Boston Bruins in 2011 before losing in seven games.
Taking the pressure off his team might help the Lightning, but there’s a reason why many aren’t optimistic about their chances of staging a comeback. Losing goaltender Ben Bishop (elbow) was a big blow to them after he put himself in the conversation for the Vezina Trophy with his 2.23 GAA and .924 save percentage in 63 starts.
Bishop held the Canadiens to a 0.94 GAA and .962 save percentage in four contests during the regular season. In contrast, so far goalie Anders Lindback has a 3.69 GAA and .881 save percentage in the first round.
You can watch Cooper’s full press conference below:
Game 3 will start at 7:00 p.m. ET and will air on NBCSN.
Kyle Turris was far from an accomplished NHLer when he requested a trade out of the Coyotes organization. In fact, when he was dealt to the Senators in 2011, the third overall pick in the 2007 draft had just 46 points in 137 NHL games.
Since then, Turris has emerged as Ottawa’s top center, with the promise of a big payday in the summer of 2018 when his current $17.5 million deal expires and he becomes an unrestricted free agent.
It’s for that very reason that he can understand Jonathan Drouin‘s position with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
“It’s tough,” Turris told the Tampa Bay Times. “Everyone has mixed feelings, and especially not being an established player. Then people are doubting that you’re doing the right thing, you really have to have confidence in yourself and your ability to do it.”
Though Turris, now 26, took a “lot of heat from the media…and people within the organization” and recalls the time after his trade request was made public as a “tough, tough go,” he believes the opportunity he received with the Sens “saved” him.
As we’ve written in the past, you don’t have to agree with how Drouin is handling things — maybe it ends up hurting him; he still has a lot to prove — but there have been young players who have chosen similar paths, and it’s worked out well for them.
Drouin, by the way, has 40 points in 89 NHL games.