Lightning coach Jon Cooper says they lacked desperation
The difference between the Washington Capitals and Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Monday night is that one team played like they were facing elimination, while the other did not.
The Capitals were out there giving max effort, slamming bodies around, dominating in nearly every aspect of the game, and it showed. They won 3-0 at home to send the series to a deciding seventh game, with a Stanley Cup Finals appearance on the line.
After his team’s loss, Lightning coach Jon Cooper said they lacked desperation.
“We were no good. We didn’t play with near desperation they did. What were hits…39-19? Someone was engaged and someone wasn’t,” Cooper said after the game, via Spectrum Sports’ Olivia Stacey.
Cooper also said it was time for his team to “push back.”
"Every time they get pushed against the wall, they push back…it's time for us to push back." – Jon Cooper
— Mike Ashmore (@mashmore98) May 22, 2018
The Caps out-shot the Lightning 34 to 24 and out-hit them 39-19. They also blocked 20 shots compared to 13 for Tampa Bay. The extra effort from Washington certainly showed.
Now with the series heading back to Tampa and the Lightning up against it, they shouldn’t have the same excuse for not matching Washington’s effort in Game 7.