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Jon Cooper Pregame Presser from 10/18/16 vs Panthers

Coach Cooper talks bad bounces and Aleksander Barkov's speed.

NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins at Tampa Bay Lightning Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Question: And what about falling behind in the game? You guys are getting [inaudible] some things - just kind of overblown a little bit - you need to start faster, you need to start faster - since [inaudible]

Cooper: We do, but if you really - when you break it down, like some of these goals that have gone in against us are probably not your typical goals. I think — gosh, we gave up four against Detroit - and I think we put in two of ‘em and one went off the stanchion. And then the other night, we put in — I think we may have been — our stick was the last one to touch all those as well, including the one that didn’t count, that went off our stick again. So, I feel for our goalies. They’ve had a little kinda tough luck on their side in that regard. But they’ve played extremely well, deserved the wins, and hopefully have a little better puck luck for those guys tonight.

Question: You have any thoughts on all the high-scoring games early in the year? You think it’s kind of an anomaly, it’s only a week, or?

Cooper: I do. I think — just as I said, I mean we’ve given up six. Four have been off us and one’s been off a stanchion. So it’s just not your regular type games. I think defense is lax. What really happens is myself and the other 29 coaches in the league will just suck the fun out of the game and play D and then [chuckles] games will be 2-1.

Question: That’s coming at some point? [laughs]

Cooper: No, no, no. Actually, the one thing I think — if you look at the youth that has been injected into the National Hockey League. And the skill. That in itself is going to raise the scoring. And the coaching’s not going to be able to take that out of it, ‘cause the guys are too good. So I believe, in that sense, there is — there’s going to be more scoring just because of the talent level that these young kids possess. It’s unreal to watch. But eventually, when the goalies start getting into their rhythm, they’re a big part of why goals aren’t scored. And when guys — when that starts to roll — goal scoring’s gonna go down. But I don’t expect it to dip like last season. I expect scoring to be on the rise.

Question: Barkov was picked one ahead of Jo [Drouin]. This kid just seems to be, quietly, just becoming an amazing player. What have you seen from Barkov?

Cooper: Well, Barkov is — he’s the real deal, but he’s the whole package — size, strength, speed. And I got a really good opportunity to watch him in the World Cup because we played them. And you can tell, just his confidence is brewing, and how he is as a player. It’s — Florida knew what they were doing when, you know, they passed over a couple guys to take him. He’s a great great talent.