The Tampa Bay Lightning dropped Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals to the Colorado Avalanche in overtime, 4-3. The Lightning erased a two-goal deficit on the road to force OT, but ultimately came up short on an Andre Burakovsky goal 1:23 into overtime. After the game, Lightning head coach Jon Cooper gave his take on his team’s performance. It goes without saying, he was not very pleased.
Jon Cooper, Lightning coach: “The right team won this game. I don’t think by a country mile we played our best game.”
Said there is some stuff they need to “clean up.”
— David Waldstein (@DavidWaldstein) June 16, 2022
“The right team won this game. I don’t think by a country mile we played our best game,” Cooper said.
He went on to talk about there being a number of things the Lightning need to clean up before Game 2. One thing that he might be referencing is being stronger with the puck. The Avalanche recorded 17 takeaways during the game, to just four for Tampa Bay.
The Lightning were also outshot 38-23. It’s not new being outshot, but it’s rarely by that many. Colorado definitely looked like the faster, sharper team Wednesday night. That’s despite having a massive layoff since winning the Western Conference Finals over a week ago.
Even the world’s best goalie was far from his best. He allowed three goals in the first time in his playoff career. He has played in 99 career playoff games. So, that’s saying something. But it wasn’t just that he allowed three early goals. The first two were soft goals that he likely should have stopped.
He would eventually settle down as the game went on and make numerous great saves. But Tampa Bay was unable to ever take the lead after trailing 3-1.
They’ll look to even the Stanley Cup Finals Saturday night in Colorado.