The Lightning are ‘frustrated,’ but coach Cooper isn’t worried yet


After starting the season with three straight wins — and looking like the same team that nearly won the Stanley Cup in June — the Tampa Bay Lightning are 2-4-2 in their last eight.

One of those two wins in eight required overtime.

In the lone regulation victory, 2-1 at home over Buffalo on Oct. 17, goalie Ben Bishop had to be “the best player on the ice,” according to coach Jon Cooper.

Last night, the Bolts dropped a 2-1 decision at home to Colorado, a team that hadn’t won in almost two weeks.

Oh, and Tyler Johnson still hasn’t scored yet, despite putting 26 shots on goal.

“If we were like the NFL and had a 16-game season, I’d be worried,” Cooper said after the loss to the Avalanche. “But it’s an 82-game season, so I’m not worried. You watch that hockey game, we played hard. Everything we asked the guys to do, they did.”

To be fair, the Bolts did outshoot the Avs, 35-26.

But then, everyone outshoots the Avs. And the shots were pretty much even after two periods. It was only in the third, with Colorado protecting a one-goal lead, that Tampa Bay really dominated possession, against the worst possession team in the NHL.

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“The one thing about our group is that we’ve been so used to scoring goals,” said Cooper. “It’s only natural to be frustrated. If they weren’t frustrated, then I’d probably have a little bit of an issue.” 

The Lightning host the Bruins Saturday, then hit the road for four games.

“It’s gonna come,” said forward Ryan Callahan. “Look at this group we have in here. We’re not worried.”