Advertisement
  1. Sports
  2. /
  3. Lightning

Jon Cooper: Lightning need to be better offensively in Game 4

The coach says his team can’t sit back as much as it did last game out vs. the Islanders, even if it did net Tampa Bay a win.
Lightning coach Jon Cooper wants to see his team be more consistently aggressive tonight against the Islanders.
Lightning coach Jon Cooper wants to see his team be more consistently aggressive tonight against the Islanders. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]
Published Jun. 19
Updated Jun. 19

UNIONDALE, N.Y. — The Lightning withstood an Islanders press and a raucous Nassau Coliseum down the stretch in their 2-1 Game 3 win Thursday night. But Lightning coach Jon Cooper said his team will have to give more to pull out another victory tonight.

Tampa Bay did a good job of protecting the net in the third period, but after going back and looking at the game film, Cooper said the Lightning sat back a little too much.

“I like that we won the game,” Cooper said following Saturday’s morning skate. “But I thought there were periods in that game that we didn’t do the things we needed to for us to have some more success. … That first probably 12 minutes. We were flip-happy and content on just getting pucks out instead of doing what we did that last four or five minutes, which was to attack the game and put them on their heels.”

The Lightning had just one shot on goal over the first 12:56 of the third, Steven Stamkos’ shot nine minutes into the period, and had just four shot attempts over that span.

It wasn’t until the final five minutes that the Lightning were more aggressive offensively. And three shots came in a 90-second span before the Islanders pulled goalie Semyon Varlamov to add an extra attacker.

“You can get away with that at times when you have the lead, but we need to be better than that if we’re going to have any chance tonight because I know the Islanders are gonna be better,” Cooper said.

• • •

Sign up for Lightning Strikes, a weekly newsletter from Bolts beat writer Eduardo A. Encina that brings you closer to the ice.

Never miss out on the latest with the Bucs, Rays, Lightning, Florida college sports and more. Follow our Tampa Bay Times sports team on Twitter and Facebook.