Lightning coach Cooper praises Gudlevskis after OT loss to ‘Hawks


The Tampa Bay Lightning may not have been able to come up with a victory in Saturday’s Stanley Cup final rematch against Chicago, but coach Jon Cooper was impressed with rookie goalie Kristers Gudlevskis.

After being recalled from the AHL on Saturday, the 23-year-old turned in a solid performance against the defending champions and it didn’t go unnoticed.

“Gudlevskis was the best player on the ice for us,” Cooper said. “He was fantastic. Their guy (Toews) made a big-time play.”

Cooper also praised Gudlevskis’ maturity and his improved puck skills.

“He was dishing pucks left, right, middle. He was really confident with that and it just made breaking out the puck that much easier. Like I said, he did it all tonight.”

After stopping 30 shots in regulation, Gudlevskis couldn’t come up with a save on Jonathan Toews‘ goal on a partial breakaway in the extra frame.

To hear all of Jon Cooper’s post-game comments, click on the video below.