The post game interviews from Game Three and more thoughts

The Bolts like their process, not the outcome.

The post game interviews from Game Three and more thoughts
Jon Cooper. Photo compliments of Tampa Bay Lightning via their Twitter (@TBLightning)

Jon Cooper

Jon Cooper | Postgame 4.22.23
Head Coach Jon Cooper spoke to the Media following the Bolts 4-3 Overtime loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 3 Saturday night.

Thoughts on Nick Perbix and Darren Raddysh:

"They're playing outstanding for us.....they've had some big assignments and done phenomenal for us."

The overturned Brayden Point goal:

"I have zero idea why he blew the whistle. It's shocking. The entire building, there was 20,000 people saw it sitting right there....Look, it's not why we lost looking back, I just don't get it."

How important is it to have Victor Hedman on the ice?

"Norris Trophy winner. C'mon, those are questions you can answer for yourself. He's an amazing player for us."

How much did you have to hold your breath when Point went into the boards?

"Hold my breath a ton? A little? Like extremely hold it? Hold it for a minute and a half? I don't know what you want me to say there."

Process over outcome.

"I really liked our game...We had ample chances to score some goals and the puck didn't go in for us as many times as we needed it to. I leave that game, unfortunate that we lost, but I loved our's a gutty group and I'd never bet against the gutty group that's in there."

On Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov defending Point:

"Hey, it's why we've been to the finals three years in a row. They do more than put the puck in the net. It was unbelievable for those guys."

Brandon Hagel

Hagel | Postgame 4.22.23
Forward Brandon Hagel spoke to the media following the Bolts Game 3 loss to Toronto Maple Leafs at Amalie Arena.

How hard is it to take a game like this?

"We think we played very well [in the] game, but it is what it is."

Process over outcome:

"If we continue to play like that I love our chances...we played an unbelievable game tonight."

Emotions after the Point hit

"That's incredible. It's a 100-point guy, a guy that's scored 60 goals in this league willing to do that, stick up for a teammate. That's why this team has been so successful."

Did the review of the second goal (that was confirmed) affect the way the officials looked at the Point goal (that was overturned)?

"Yeah, I mean, I'm not going to put it on the refs at all. Personally, myself, I think the puck was loose and it was a goal, but it is what it is. The ref didn't see it so no goal.

Steven Stamkos

Stamkos | Postgame 4.22.23
Captain Steven Stamkos spoke to the media following the Bolts Game 3 loss to Toronto Maple Leafs at Amalie Arena.

Giving up two late goals:

"A one-goal lead with a minute left, you never want to give those up. It's unfortunate because I thought today was a really good game for our group....probably the best game we played in this series."
"This is what makes our group unique and special is the experience we have.  We've been in situations like this before. We always harp on process over outcome. Process over outcome. I thought that was a process game where we know what works."

The overturned goal:

"From my vantage point on the ice it didn't look like the goalie really knew where the puck was and obviously it was there and Pointer jammed it in. The ref from the corner blew the whistle. I was pretty much in the corner, there was no way he saw, that's just an instinct thing. They reviewed it, it didn't go our way. That's the way it is."

Dropping the gloves

"It's such a bang-bang play. You see one of the best players in the world go headfirst into the boards, there's got to be a response. I'd expect the same thing from their group if [Mitch] Marner or [Auston] Matthews was in that same position. It's playoff hockey, the way it is."

Feelings heading into Game Four:

"Continue to play this same game plan"

Some more thoughts after listening to the Lightning after their loss.

  • I think Stamkos hit the nail on the head when he talked about this team being through this before. They may not be the most talented team in the playoffs, or heck, even in this series, but they are by far the most experienced. There is no panic in this team, no self-doubt.  They know that Game Three was a blueprint on how to win this series and they should go out and put on a similar performance moving forward.
  • Snarky Jon Cooper "Hold my breath a ton?" is my favorite Jon Cooper.
  • As for the aftermath of the Morgan Reilly/Brayden Point collision, again, I think Stamkos' explanation rings a lot more true than the galaxy brain explanation Sheldon Keefe gave after the game. Please remember at the the time that Stamkos and Matthews scrapped, the assumption on the ice was that Reilly was probably going for boarding. The penalties hadn't been announced or reviewed yet. The Lightning players didn't know for sure that Nikita Kucherov would be getting an extra penalty. Doesn't it make more sense that Stamkos was running a little hot, looking for someone in the other sweater to take it out on and Matthews just happened to be the closest?
  • Process over outcome. There were more good things from this game than bad. Take those away from it, match the intensity on Monday and take the series back to Toronto tied up.