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Cooper: Bolts ‘kept shooting ourselves in the foot’ in OT loss

Apr 17, 2014, 12:52 AM EDT

To hear Lightning head coach Jon Cooper explain it, Wednesday’s series-opening loss to Montreal — a 5-4 OT defeat in Tampa — was more about what the Bolts did wrong than what the Habs did right.

“We kept shooting ourselves in the foot,” Cooper said, per the Tampa Bay website. “That’s ultimately what we did, and we did it time and time again. We did it on the winning goal and countless others that they scored tonight.”

Cooper was probably talking about the defensive miscues that led to Dale Weise being wide open in front of goalie Anders Lindback on Montreal’s OT winner, when three Lightning skaters were caught beneath the goal line:

The lackluster defensive tone was set early for Tampa, too. Defenseman Radko Gudas, making his playoff debut, had his ankles broken (figuratively speaking) on the Canadiens’ first goal as Tomas Plekanec sent him sprawling to the ice before snapping one past Lindback:

Lightning captain Steve Stamkos, who scored twice on the night, was blunt in his assessment of his team’s performance.

“We didn’t play the way we needed to in order to win this game,’’ Stamkos said, per the Tampa Tribune. “It didn’t feel like we really deserved it all game.

“We do have a lot of guys that have not been in this situation before, but hopefully they get that experience now, get those jitters out of the way and we can focus on our game now.’’

  1. stcrowe - Apr 17, 2014 at 1:16 AM

    This was a messy game all around, especially by the goaltenders, but it was great entertainment.

  2. comeonnowguys - Apr 17, 2014 at 9:01 AM

    Or… they were outplayed by a hungrier team.

  3. boltsfan777 - Apr 17, 2014 at 9:17 AM

    I watched this game from the 3rd row. The game wasn’t close… forget the overtime. There were two teams; one came to town to play for the Stanley Cup, the home team played for the Calder cup.

    The Canadiens did everything right the Bolts did wrong…shots that missed the net by a wide margin, errant cross-ice passes and turnovers, most puck battles the corners lost, playing soft at the blue line and giving it up uncontested, trying to be pretty instead of just throwing at the net…etc…

    By the end of the night, I started liking the Canadiens.

    • terrier92 - Apr 17, 2014 at 9:22 AM

      As a confirmed Habs hater I agree with your assessment. After the game I was still not sure if Canadians were that good or Tampa was that bad. Never saw a team lose so many puck battles. Hope they get it together soon or this is going to be a short series.

    • joey4id - Apr 17, 2014 at 10:11 AM

      Bottom line is that Lindback gave up some bad goals. 1st) didn’t cover his angle well enough 2nd) Lack of rebound control – glove side 3rd) glove side shot – deep in his net 5th) though it was a total defensive break down by the TB d, he never gave himself a chance to stop the shot. He was lackadaisical to say the least.

      Was Price better? He was technically more sound, but wasn’t stellar. 1st) screen shot 2nd) sniper goal by Stamkos, but Price could have covered the angle a little better 3rd) clearly wasn’t ready for that shot – on him 4) 2 on 1 with a perfect pass to Stamkos, but Price committed himself to Killorn a little soon

      Bottom line, we didn’t see Price at his best, and Lindback isn’t better than what we saw. It is possible that Bishop would have made difference in last night’s game.

  4. boltsfan777 - Apr 17, 2014 at 9:53 AM

    I keep optimistically thinking of the Pen-Bolts first round in 2011, when after the third game the Bolts were down in the series 3-0 and still hadn’t shown anything…it looked way over. Then they chipped away and somehow won the fourth game, and eventually the series. You could watch the team grow throughout the whole run up until they were eliminated by Boston the that game 7.

    Bolts are a young talented team that grew fast this season, so we’ll see.

  5. montrealbbr - Apr 17, 2014 at 10:41 AM

    I expect the Habs to clean up the mistakes they made and Price will play more like himself. Winning the first game on the road was a big step and I think that by winning even though they played terrible they showed they were the better team. Habs in 5!!

  6. Hard to BeLeaf - Apr 17, 2014 at 11:33 AM

    Looked more like Tampa was nervous in game 1 than anything. IF Price keeps playing like that, Tampa should be able to get back into the series quite easily.

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