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Lightning head coach Jon Cooper meeting with the media following Game 3.
Photo credit: NHL on TNT

Jon Cooper tells team not to show up to Game 4 if they don't believe

Published April 26, 2024 at 7:55
BY COOPER GODIN
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The Tampa Bay Lightning had an opportunity on Thursday night at home to cut the Florida Panthers' series lead in half. In front of their home fans, many thought the experienced Lightning squad would be able to pull out a victory in Game 3, but that wasn't the case.

Despite scoring three goals on Sergei Bobrovsky, which has been a tough task for the Lightning in this series as well as other teams during the regular season, they weren't able to get the win as the Panthers pulled off the Game 3 victory by a score of 5-3.

It's safe to say that the Lightning haven't been getting enough from some of their top players including Anthony Cirelli, who has one assist in three games, as well as Brandon Hagel who has put up one goal in three games. Nikita Kucherov, who was the 2023-24 Art Ross Trophy winner with 144 points in 81 games, only has three assists in the three games in this series. While a point-per-game sounds nice and would be for any other player, for someone of Kucherov's ability, he should be producing more with his team in a desperate position.

After Thursday's game, Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper met with reporters and said that he told his team if you're not going to believe that they can turn this series around, then you don't have to come to the rink tomorrow.


"The big talk was, we have to believe and show up to the rink tomorrow. If you're not gonna believe, you don't have to come, so let's see how many guys show up tomorrow." Cooper said.

With their backs against the wall, the Lightning will look to avoid being swept by their state rivals, the Florida Panthers, on Saturday afternoon, with puck drop set for 5 p.m. ET.

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Jon Cooper tells team not to show up to Game 4 if they don't believe

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