CRACKS OF DON: A mere ‘422 days’ later, payback is nice for Cooper and the Lightning


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Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper reacts from the bench throughout the third interval in Sport four in opposition to the Blue Jackets. (DAN HAMILTON/USA TODAY SPORTS) DAN HAMILTON/USA TODAY SPORTS

Who is aware of, failing to defeat Tortorella and the Columbus Blue Jackets within the first spherical of the playoffs once more — in even remotely related style to the best way it occurred a yr in the past, when their record-breaking common season went up within the smoke of a four-game sweep — may need left Cooper in search of work.

How a lot did that embarrassing end result gas Tampa’s elimination of the Blue Jackets in a sequence that was led to 5 video games on Wednesday, with all 4 wins coming by only one objective?

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“We had 422 days to consider it,” mentioned Cooper, “however who’s counting?”

The teachings they realized by the hands of Tortorella in 2019 might show to be invaluable. Having disposed of Columbus, there could also be no stopping the Lightning now.

In the meantime, the Jackets are gone and we miss them already. Led by elegant captain Nick Foligno, their work ethic and character had been endearing.

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So was Tortorella, in his personal manner.

Requested in his closing availability, after one more heartbreaking OT loss, what it’s been like working so intently together with his gamers in a pandemic-created bubble, Tortorella was huffing and sighing and rolling his eyes earlier than the query was completed.

“You realize what, I’m not going to get into the touchy-feely stuff and the ethical victories and all that,” he mentioned. “You guys be protected.”
How considerate. You too, Torts. See you subsequent season, which is simply across the nook.

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The Boston Bruins rejoice a power-play objective scored by David Krejci en path to eliminating the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday. John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY SPORTS John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY SPORTS

STOPS AND STARTS
Keep in mind how dangerous the Bruins seemed whereas going winless within the seeding video games? Was the first-place workforce on the time of the pause going to have the ability to discover its legs within the playoffs? Properly, with out their prime offensive participant for 3 video games (David Pastrnak returned from no matter was ailing him Wednesday) and with out their greatest goalie for all however two, Boston took care quite handily of a Hurricanes workforce many people thought might go on a long term. How did the B’s deliver all of it again collectively? “You form of preserve the trains working on time, so to talk, and do your job,” coach Bruce Cassidy mentioned matter-of-factly … Now 1-Eight in opposition to the B’s prior to now two playoffs, Carolina was the Hartford Whalers, who received simply 37 of 118 video games in opposition to Boston of their 18-year existence … It’s time for the ‘Canes to pursue a bonafide No. 1 goalie. That could possibly be their solely lacking piece … By no means getting sufficient credit score for his potential to rise his play within the post-season is David Krejci, who was the league’s main playoff scorer in each 2011 and 2013. The B’s centre had 9 factors, together with three targets, in eight video games for the reason that NHL’s return to play.