Lightning Rebound, Demolish Flyers 7-0

by | Mar 11, 2024

Lightning Rebound, Demolish Flyers 7-0

by | Mar 11, 2024

Motivation in sports is a tremendous intangible that not every coach can use and it works for him or her. Success and respect has to be two of the major qualities in this part of the acumen of any game.

On Thursday evening, the Tampa Bay Lightning fell hard in a 6-3 loss to Calgary and the Bolts’ level of play wasn’t even close to a definition of who this team is under Coach John Cooper. After all, he led it to two Stanley Cup titles and a berth in the Finals for a third consecutive season, and should be a cinch to get into the Hall of Fame when the time comes.

Cooper was frustrated with that 60 minutes of hockey and he said so after the game. Truthfully, he probably didn’t take an approach into the locker room because players knew, themselves, how that game was not “Lightning-like.”

Tampa Bay’s roster took that level of play to task and scoured the Philadelphia Flyers, 7-0, in Tampa on Saturday evening.

In comparison, two weeks ago when St. John’s had struggled in the Big East, Hall of Fame head coach Rick Pitino took the Red Storm to task with the reporters and SJU hasn’t lost since.

Cooper was enthralled with the level of play some 48 hours after the loss to Calgary. The focus and move forward showed that Tampa Bay’s roster has developed into a group of players who understan d the objectives and communication of the staff and organization.

“We needed that one,” noted Cooper. “A lot of things went our way. We got that early one. It was a good boost for our power play as well. At some point, we were going to break out.”

Victor Hedman scored at even strength, just 1:49 into the game and then at 5:55 of the first period, Nicholas Paul found the back of the net on a power play goal for almost an immediate 2-0 lead for the Lightning.

The quick lead doubled to 4-0 at the 10:49 mark when Conor Sheary scored at even strength at 9:10. Then, Brayden Point scored his 33rd goal of the season on a power play marker at the 10:49 mark.

“For us, it had gotten a little dry the last 10 games or so,” said Cooper. “It was great that they took advantage of those early penalties. You get that lead. It was big for us to locker that sucker down.”

Raddysh Records: Tampa Bay’s Darren Raddysh became the first defenseman in Lightning history to record five assists in a single game, five assists on home ice, and he also he tied a Lightning record with three assists in one period.

This type of strength and power showed how the Lightning took it upon themselves to streamline their game at a high level on Saturday evening.

“Like I said, this was a team effort and I am glad ‘Raddy’ was rewarded,” said Cooper.  “He made two really great plays some of those were on the breakouts coming out.”

Raddysh’s assists came on the first three Lightning goals as they came in about eight combined minutes.

Upgrading roster: Tampa Bay GM Julien Brisebois acquired Anthony Duclair from the San Jose Sharks and Matt Dumba from the Arizona Coyotes before the trad deadline.

Duclair had 16 goals in coming over and added the Lightning’s fifth goal of the evening at 15:42 in the second period. Steven Stamkos bagged his second assist on the play as Duclair assisted Paul’s first-period power play goal.

“The man comes in and brought instant energy to our group,” said Cooper. “Gets in a fight and does a lot of things that we needed back there. He competes really hard and he came as advertised.”

As Tampa Bay looks at playing high level teams in the next few games, the dynamics of Duclair will be needed addition.

“Hopefully, this carries forward,” Cooper said. “We have some top opponents – the Rangers and Florida, two-point leaders in the Eastern Conference. A major test for us and then we go out west and we are staring Vegas in the face.”

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