When one falls off that metaphorical saddle, one must get back up and ride again. That’s precisely the philosophy for Lightning coach Jon Cooper and his staff, with the saddle being a costly mistake and ice time being the ride he wants players to get back on again. “You don’t want to sit here and say, ‘Go get to the end of the bench’ and have a pity party for him,” Cooper said. “‘Get back out there and help try to get us that goal back.’ That’s how we do things. You can’t hang your head about this.’’ That response came after the defensive-zone turnover committed by Radko Gudas late in Tuesday’s 3-2 loss in Toronto. Gudas tried to spin and send a pass to defensive partner Matt Carle, but he was stripped of the puck by Tyler Bozak. The turnover led to James van Riemsdyk’s wining goal seconds later. But instead of the old-school approach of getting into a player’s face and putting him on the bench, Cooper or an assistant offers a quick word and throws him right back on the ice. That’s exactly what happened on Tuesday, as Gudas was on the ice for the faceoff after Toronto’s go-ahead goal. “When mistakes like that happen, your confidence goes down and he’s like, ‘Don’t worry about it. Play your game and you’re back out there,’ ” Gudas said. “It’s obviously a big confidence-builder. It gets you right back up.’’ The same approach happened earlier in the game. Trying to get the puck into the offensive zone, defenseman Mark Barberio’s pass was intercepted by Toronto center Nazem Kadri just outside the blue line. Kadri raced into the Lightning zone and fired a long wrist shot over the shoulder of goaltender Ben Bishop for a 1-0 lead early in the second period.
Bolts' Cooper doesn’t let mistakes linger
Tampa Tribune | Jan 30