Coach Cooper would love the Lightning to knock it off with all the penalties


As good as the Tampa Bay Lightning’s penalty-killing has looked in these playoffs, their head coach, Jon Cooper, would be happier if his players just stayed out of the box instead.

“It disrupts your flow. It’s taxing on your penalty killers,” Cooper told reporters about being shorthanded so much. “You’re spending your whole time in the D zone.”

Sunday in Detroit, the Bolts went a perfect 7-for-7 on the PK, but lost the game, 2-0, after managing just 16 shots on goalie Petr Mrazek.

Defenseman Jason Garrison led the Bolts in shorthanded ice time (6:24) in Game 3, followed by Ryan Callahan (5:55), Brian Boyle (5:15), Valtteri Filppula (5:08), Braydon Coburn (4:30), and Victor Hedman (4:20).

That’s a lot of time for good two-way players to spend defending, while offensive types like Nikita Kucherov, Tyler Johnson, and Jonathan Drouin sit on the bench watching.

The Red Wings, meanwhile, have been busy thinking of ways to actually convert with the man advantage. In three games, they’re a disappointing 1-for-17.

“We’ve certainly looked at everything as we go through the decision process,” coach Jeff Blashill said, per MLive. “Is there any ways that we can help ourselves do better in any area, including the power play? I would certainly give lots of credit to Tampa’s penalty kill. I think they were one of the top penalty-killing units in the last 2-3 months down the stretch. They do a really good job, so let’s make sure they get lots of credit there.”