Lightning Season-Ender: Unaccepted Goals and Apology

by | May 3, 2024

Lightning Season-Ender: Unaccepted Goals and Apology

by | May 3, 2024

The Day After … Two More Unaccepted Goals

Cooper was miffed about two goals being taken away from Tampa Bay as those were two situations that also could have turned Game 5 in the Bolts’ favor. This was after a disallowed goal from Bolts center Anthony Cirelli in Game 3 where the Lightning were whistled for an off-sides penalty.

Cirelli had another goal taken away which would have allowed Tampa Bay a 2-1 lead in the second period.

Lightning defenseman Mikail Sergachev, who had returned in Game 4 from after an injury in February, was disallowed a goal that would have tied the game at 2-2 at 17:12 in the second. He was pinned in the crease by Niko Mikkola, and when he turned, contact was made with Bobrovsky.

The Day After, Part 2 … Cooper’s Apology

Tampa Bay head coach Jon Cooper explained his idea about the two goals being disallowed due to interference with Bobrovsky. He commented about goalies wearing skirts as he noted he had two daughters who played sports as well as him being a “massive supporter” of female hockey.

“As you know we had a disappointing series loss the other night and I made an inappropriate analogy about goalies in skirts and you know it’s one of those moments where if you could reach back and grab the words back, I would have,” said Cooper.

“I have to go and explain myself to my girls,” he said.

Expectations of Stamkos’ Return

Lightning GM Julien BriseBois will work to make sure Lightning star center Steven Stamkos returns to the team as he has been a Lightning player since he was drafted in 2008.

He had a superior season with 40 goals and 41 assists while being a key leader on the team. For his career, Stamkos has played in 1,082 games in 16 years and is a consistent producer with 555 goals and 582 assists.

BriseBois and Stamkos’ agent had a short conversation after Game 5.

“I think on the outside it gets looked at more than what we feel on the inside, so there’s more speculation than what is going on with us,” explained Cooper.

Season’s Positives

As Cooper reiterated the season on Tuesday morning at the Lightning’s final news conference, he discussed the run that sent the Bolts in as the Eastern Conference’s sixth seed.

He noted that six other Eastern Conference teams were fighting to get into the post-season and at that point, at the end of February the Lightning were out of the playoffs.

“That’s a goal of ours coming into the year and we did it,” acknowledged Cooper. “The problem is we couldn’t push anything over the edge after that. That’s why it’s still a stinger at this time of year. To push our way in the way we did, it was a pretty proud moment for these guys.”

Cooper discussed how gratified he was to have seven new players rise into constant performers for Tampa Bay.

“Our record really took off when those guys came up,” said Cooper. “It was a pleasure to watch those guys play and they really helped us.”

He also commented on the leaders and special teams players that helped Tampa Bay construct 46 wins.

“This season was a gratifying season up to the point where we lost out,” summarized Cooper. “You are going to look and see ‘Kuch’ had 144 points, ‘Heddy’ had this and ‘Stammer’ had 40 goals and Point had nearly 50, but everybody contributed. Like our penalty kill was top five or six in the league and our power play was tops in the league.”

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