Mar 29, 2013, 1:44 PM EDT
Jon Cooper, 45, is excited as we get closer to his first game as the Tampa Bay Lightning’s head coach and he expects those emotions will just build as the day goes on, according to an NHL.com report.
“How am I looking right now? Am I looking OK?” Cooper asked after the Lightning’s practice. “OK, so take this and do the opposite and that’s what is going on in here.
“I’m jacked. This is really, really exciting. I’ve got a plan. I’ve done it my way, and here I stand today.
“I wouldn’t say that I’m really nervous, although five minutes before the game I’m sure I will be. There is a wave of emotions. I wish everyone could feel what I’m feeling right now. It’s pretty cool.”
Cooper, the former head coach of AHL Syracuse, is inheriting a team that’s unlikely to make the playoffs despite a wealth of talented players. Former bench boss Guy Boucher led the team to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2011, but goaltending woes have been a big problem in recent years.
Cooper doesn’t plan to change the way he coaches and part of that means giving his players more freedom in the offensive zone. That’s something that should appeal to two-time Rocket Richard Trophy winner Steven Stamkos.
“It isn’t like you weren’t allowed to make plays with Guy. You still went out there making reads, making plays,” Stamkos said in a Tampa Bay Times report. “But here we know what’s allowed and what’s not, and there’s a lot of in-between where you can make a decision on your own.
“There aren’t specific things in your head you’re thinking about when you’re out there.”
“You’ve got to let guys breathe,” Cooper reasoned. “You’ve got to let them be free down there.”
The New Jersey Devils will be Cooper’s first opponents and his approach will be countered by future Hall of Fame goaltender Martin Brodeur.
Oct 31, 2014, 8:50 AM EDT
Just replace Chris Pronger with his name from your previous jokes …
Oct 31, 2014, 8:02 AM EDT
Phaneuf as Spider-Man is … odd.
Oct 31, 2014, 2:30 AM EDT
Rookie Jonathan Drouin played less than 10 minutes in the win.
Oct 31, 2014, 2:00 AM EDT
Not quite a fight.
Oct 31, 2014, 1:34 AM EDT
Michel Therrien “That was a dirty hit to the head”
Oct 31, 2014, 1:01 AM EDT
Canucks conclude October with a 7-3 record.
Oct 31, 2014, 12:40 AM EDT
Picked up his 1,000th point.
Oct 31, 2014, 12:02 AM EDT
Scores twice in 5-0 win.
Oct 30, 2014, 11:26 PM EDT
Adds defensive depth.
Oct 30, 2014, 10:56 PM EDT
Allegedly endorsed a New York Islanders pay check to cover gambling debt
Oct 30, 2014, 9:55 PM EDT
End an 0-18 skid.
Oct 30, 2014, 9:40 PM EDT
The play was reviewed and was ruled a good goal.
Oct 30, 2014, 9:17 PM EDT
Collided with Alex Steen of the Blues.
Oct 30, 2014, 9:01 PM EDT
Gets a lucky bounce off Zach Parise.
Oct 30, 2014, 8:48 PM EDT
Absent from tonight’s game against the Blackhawks.
Oct 30, 2014, 8:30 PM EDT
Was slow to the bench, but remains in the game.
Oct 30, 2014, 8:00 PM EDT
Recovering from a lower body injury.
Oct 30, 2014, 7:40 PM EDT
Nice feed to Kunitz
Oct 30, 2014, 7:25 PM EDT
Two big boys land some pretty good shots.
Oct 30, 2014, 7:07 PM EDT
Abdominal injury hits the center once again.
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