The Lightning remain confident of being able to recover

The Lightning remain confident they can get back up


For the rare time in the past few years, the Tampa Bay Lightning faltered while in full control of a game. How will the 2020 and 2021 Stanley Cup champions react?

There are defeats that hurt more than others. That of the fourth game falls into this category. Coach Jon Cooper didn't hate his men's performance despite this third setback in the series against Toronto. 

“We had to have more goals than the opponent on the scoreboard, he stressed during a virtual meeting with the media on Tuesday. That was what had to happen. We enjoyed a big part of our game. 

“Of course, we would like to review what happened in the third period. No matter how you go to overtime, you like to score one [goal], but it didn't happen. We weren't good enough. We have to be a little better.”

This isn't the first time the Lightning have found themselves in this awkward position. In last year's final against the Colorado Avalanche, Jon Cooper's club trailed the eventual champions 3-1. 

“You have to be careful because we have a different team,” Cooper said. Our players know the feelings and the mentality you need to have in this type of situation. They know what they have to do. 

“Last year they managed to win in a very hostile environment. However, several players from our current edition were not with us. It is our leaders who must guide them.

“We had success in Toronto in the playoffs and we are confident that we can have it again. There are no guarantees, but we trust in ourselves.”

In defense of Vasy

The Maple Leafs seem to have found a flaw in goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy. The recipe is simple: put traffic in front of him and deflect shots any way you can. 

“Who could have stopped Matthews' deflection? Nobody, Cooper mentioned. […] On the winning goal of Kerfoot, who could have stopped that? I don't know. No goalie in the league. 

“The best goaltenders in hockey history weren’t stopping those shots. These goals are incredible. It's hard that they all happened in the same game.”

In another vein, the absence of defender Erik Cernak is starting to weigh heavily. 

< p>“He is an important element in our numerical disadvantage. He is able to play big minutes and counter the best opposing players. It hurts us right now. 

“We would like to have him in uniform in our top 4. Despite everything, I think we played well enough not to fall behind 1-3 in the series.”

A beneficial time off

The Lightning and the Maple Leafs enjoy a two-day time off before Game 5 , which will take place on Thursday. Cooper decided to give his players the day off on Tuesday. 

“It will allow everyone to catch their breath,” he said. We've played a ton of hockey and it will be good for our players to spend time with their families. 

“I think they will come back with a different and more positive mentality. It will help us.”