Lightning Round: Ten years of Jon Cooper

Isaac Howard has been transferred to Michigan State

On March 25, 2013, exactly one year and one day ago, Jon Cooper was named as the head of coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning, replacing Guy Boucher, who was fired after a 13-17-1 start of the shortened 2012-13 regular season. Since that moment Jon Cooper has been one of the most successful head coaches not only in a franchise history, but in the whole NHL.

His stats speaks for themself. In his 11th season with the Lightning, he’s the longest tenured active head coach in the NHL. His 476 career regular season wins already put him at the 31st place on the list of head coaches with the most wins in the league. His 84 playoff wins is already the 11th best result in the NHL history, while the team's 11 consecutive playoff series victories from 2020 to 2022 is one of the longest winning streaks in playoff history, joining the likes of the Montreal Canadiens and the New York Islanders — the only other teams in the NHL history to win ten or more consecutive playoff series.

Since hiring Jon Cooper, the Lightning made postseason eight times and is currently very close to clinching their ninth playoff berth this season. Over those ten years, the Lightning made it to the Stanley Cup final four times, winning the trophy in 2020 and 2021. In two other postseasons under Jon Cooper, the Lightning also reached the NHL Conference Finals. Besides two Stanley Cups, Cooper also won the Presidents’ Trophy (2018-19), Prince of Wales Trophy (2014-15, 2019-20, 2020-21, 2021-22) and won Atlantic Division (2017-18, 2018-19) with the Lightning.

Former Lightning beat writer for The Athletic Joe Smith looked back at Jon Cooper’s career with the Lightning franchise, remembering his first steps in the organization [The Athletic]

“He’ll go down as a Hall of Fame coach,” says Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde, a Lightning assistant the previous four years. “But he’ll never get enough credit for that uncanny ability — behind closed doors — to manage a group in today’s age, where the bully coach no longer has a place. He has the uncanny ability to hold guys accountable in a modern way. He holds superstars accountable, gives them a little rope to play their game and within the team structure. It’s not easy.”

The Lightning couldn’t congratulate their head coach with a win on his 10-year anniversary, losing to the Boston Bruins on Saturday afternoon [Raw Charge]

The Tampa Bay Lightning lost their third game in a row on this road trip by a score of 2-1 at the hands of the league’s best Boston Bruins. Patrice Bergeron and Garnet Hathaway scored for the Bruins, with Victor Hedman scoring the lone response in the loss. Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 32 of 34 in the regulation loss (on three expected goals against), while Linus Ullmark allowed only one goal on 27 shots (on two expected goals against).

The Syracuse Crunch were defeated by the Hershey Bears last night. Daniel Walcott scored the only goal for Syracuse, while Hugo Alnefelt stopped 24 shots in this game.

The Lightning first-round pick in last year’s NHL Entry Draft Isaac Howard joined Michigan State after one season with the University of Minnesota-Duluth.