Julien BriseBois stands by Jon Cooper after first round sweep

Lightning general manager still believes he has the right coach in place.
Tampa Bay Lightning GM Julien BriseBois addresses the media during a press conferences Thursday, April 18, 2019 at Amalie Arena in Tampa. The Lightning was swept by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
Tampa Bay Lightning GM Julien BriseBois addresses the media during a press conferences Thursday, April 18, 2019 at Amalie Arena in Tampa. The Lightning was swept by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. [DIRK SHADD | Times]
Published April 18
Updated April 19

TAMPA — Julien BriseBois says his faith in Jon Cooper has not wavered.

The Lightning general manager cannot overstate his level of disappointment in the first round sweep, but still believes in this group, including its coach.

“If I hadn’t resigned Coop when I did,” BriseBois said on Thursday, “I would be trying to resign him now.”

By signing Cooper to an extension before the playoffs, BriseBois had said the coach’s future with the team didn’t depend on this year’s success. He has to stand by that now.

BriseBois pointed out only Mike Sullivan of the Penguins has won more playoff rounds since Cooper came into the league. The Islanders’ Barry Trotz exactly matches Cooper.

Here’s the thing about that, though: Sullivan has won two Stanley Cups, and Trotz has won one, with the Capitals last year.

Do any other rounds matter if you can’t win the Stanley Cup?

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