Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Bowness gives Lightning experience behind bench

New Lightning assistant coach Rick Bowness said he loves working with young players, "and every scout I spoke to in hockey tells me there's some good young prospects here."

That said, Bowness, 58, knows he won't always be able to relate: "I always tell the players, 'You want me out of that locker room, put on that (bad) music you listen to. If it's not Led Zeppelin, I'm not coming in.' "

Bowness joined Tampa Bay in the offseason after seven years with the Canucks, who fired him and coach Alain Vigneault in a general housecleaning after last season.

With 24 years of NHL coaching experience — including head coaching stints with the Jets, Bruins, Islanders, Senators and Coyotes — Bowness will provide Lightning coach Jon Cooper, in his first full NHL season, with a well of knowledge from which to draw.

And though Bowness — who also played seven years in the league as a center with the old Atlanta Flames, Blues, Red Wings and Jets — wants to again be a bench boss, he knows his place.

"I'm going to let him run things," Bowness said of Cooper, "and help along the way."

What shaped your coaching philosophy?

The fundamentals of the game really haven't changed. You still have to be strong defensively. You still have to be strong with the fundamentals of the game. The coaching, the art of it, changes with the generations of players. The art of dealing with today's athlete is a different animal than it was 10 years ago, so I've adjusted to the change of generations … rather than the philosophy of the game.

In what ways?

They're raised differently than they were 20 years ago. You have to be more patient and understanding. You can still beat them over the head in a different way, but now you have to warn them.

How will your style play off Cooper's?

I'm going to have to tone it down a little, and I know that. Alain just kind of let me go. He'd let me snap at (players) on the bench or between periods. I get into every game, sometimes too much at my age. But I will try to tone it down a bit working with Jon because I have to see how he runs his bench. I've got to feed off Jon. That will take a little time.

What's your take on him?

There's no huge ego there. It's a democracy, and that's good.

Why is that important?

You have to have that personal chemistry. You have to be able to sit down here and look him in the eye and know it's going to work. … I want to enjoy every day coming to the rink, so there's got to be good chemistry between the whole staff.

But there will be differences of opinion, right?

Not necessarily on philosophy, but differences of opinion on certain things, and there should be. Listen, Alain and I, we'd go at it. But at the end of the discussion, this is what we're doing, and it's one voice. You have your arguments … and then it's one voice, and that's Jon's voice.

Do you want to be a head coach again?

Absolutely. That's never gone away. What I don't want to do is what I've done three times in my career and mop up. "Okay, they're going to fire the coach, you come in and you mop up," and the season is over, and it just kills you. So, if I had a chance to be a head coach again with a team that had a chance to win the Stanley Cup, absolutely. We all want to do that. But for now, this is my role. I'm going to do the best job I can in the job that I have.

 
Comments
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Lightning squanders chance to close out Capitals

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Lightning squanders chance to close out Capitals

The Lightning misses an opportunity to close out the Capitals in Washington, so there will be a Game 7 in Tampa on Wednesday night with a berth in the Stanley Cup final on the line.Andrei Vasilevskiy was fantastic, but the Lightning couldn't match th...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Game 7 odds and ends as you wait for Lightning-Capitals on Wednesday

Game 7 odds and ends as you wait for Lightning-Capitals on Wednesday

For the 33rd time in NHL history, a Stanley Cup semifinal series is headed to a Game 7, where the home teams are 21-11.The Lightning and Capitals meet Wednesday night at Amalie Arena in a win-or-go home game to decide who plays Vegas in the Stanley C...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Stanley Cup final schedule: Tampa Bay-Washington winner vs. Vegas

Stanley Cup final schedule: Tampa Bay-Washington winner vs. Vegas

Here's the schedule for the Stanley Cup final, which starts Monday — in Tampa Bay if the Lightning wins Wednesday and in Vegas if it doesn't:Lightning-Capitals winner vs. Golden Knights(All games on NBC at 8 p.m. ET)Monday, May 28Wednesday, May...
Updated: 3 hours ago
How to watch Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Washington Capitals Game 7: Game time, TV, live stream

How to watch Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Washington Capitals Game 7: Game time, TV, live stream

There will be a Game 7 in Tampa Wednesday because the Capitals "were the more desperate team," because Alex Ovechkin was running over Lightning players all night Monday in Washington and because Caps goalie Braden Holtby played to perfection.Washingt...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Lightning-Capitals: Washington forces Game 7 with 3-0 victory

Lightning-Capitals: Washington forces Game 7 with 3-0 victory

WASHINGTON — The Lightning let one get away Monday night. And it might cost Tampa Bay a chance at the Stanley Cup.So now there will be a Game 7 to decide the Eastern Conference. Maybe this is how it should be. Maybe this is how it's supposed to...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18
Lightning journal: Capitals had a shot at Jon Cooper

Lightning journal: Capitals had a shot at Jon Cooper

WASHINGTON — Interesting how things work out in the world of hockey.Back in 2012, the first NHL team to ever interview Jon Cooper for a head coaching job was actually the Washington Capitals. The Caps general manager at the time was George McPh...
Published: 05/21/18
History has been kind to Lightning in Game 7s

History has been kind to Lightning in Game 7s

WASHINGTON — There's nothing more delicious in sports than Game 7.Unless your team is playing in it. Then there's nothing more nerve-racking.Most sports fans watch a big game with a nice cold drink. But if your team is playing in a Game 7, the ...
Published: 05/21/18
Prepare yourselves: Golden Knights will be talk of the Stanley Cup final

Prepare yourselves: Golden Knights will be talk of the Stanley Cup final

WASHINGTON — It's incredible. Unbelievable, really. Maybe the best sports story in this country and the sport of hockey since 1980's Miracle on Ice.And, as a side note, if the Lightning reaches the Stanley Cup final, everyone in the country out...
Published: 05/21/18
Lightning-Capitals: Grading Tampa Bay’s Game 6 shutout loss

Lightning-Capitals: Grading Tampa Bay’s Game 6 shutout loss

Let's do it one more time, shall we?Game 7 it will be.If it matches Game 6, it will be extraordinary.RELATED: More Lightning coverageThe Lightning could not close the door on the Washington Capitals. The Caps, who apparently really don't want to lose...
Published: 05/21/18
Lightning-Capitals: Tom Jones’ takeaways from Washington’s Game 6 win

Lightning-Capitals: Tom Jones’ takeaways from Washington’s Game 6 win

Caps D Dmitry Orlov has one of the most wicked slap shots in hockey. When he stepped into one in the first period, Lightning D Ryan McDonagh threw his body in front of it and blocked it with his shoulder — just inches from his face. McDonagh sh...
Published: 05/21/18