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?