Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper had much more to say on Thursday, mere hours after his team dropped a controversial 3-2 decision in overtime to the visiting Colorado Avalanche in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final.
Cooper was not as forthcoming when he held a short news conference on Wednesday night, during which he questioned whether Nazem Kadri’s goal at 12:02 of overtime should have been allowed to stand. Replays showed the Avalanche had six skaters on the ice when Kadri gained the puck in the neutral zone seconds before scoring.
Colorado owns a 3-1 edge in the best-of-seven series heading into Game 5 on Friday night in Denver.
Teams that hold a 3-1 lead in the Stanley Cup Final have gone on to win the series 35 of 36 times. The 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs escaped a 3-0 hole in the finals to beat the Detroit Red Wings.
While Cooper excused himself after one question on Wednesday, he was more than willing to talk on Thursday.
“They’re reviewing whether the puck’s in the net. The only way I can find out is I have to go back in the room and look at the tape,” Cooper said. “You do and then you have to face all of you (the media) five minutes after an emotional loss, so I apologize for last night because that’s what you get when you have to speak to the media right away.
“What’s great about today is that it’s not yesterday. Now, we’ve got some excitement for Game 5 and that’s where my mind’s turning on how to win that. Nothing we can do to turn back. They missed it. It’s unfortunate, but it’s water under the bridge now. Should be a hell of a Game 5.”
Cooper was asked if the play should have been reviewable.
“That is not for me (to say),” he said. “I explained. It was an emotional time last night, but I’ve moved on.”