Regroup | Analyzing the Mistake That Led to CBJ’s Epic Game 1 Comeback

In Coaching Hockey, The Regroup by Kelvin CechLeave a Comment

Did a saucer pass deep in the offensive zone cost one of the greatest hockey teams in history the chance to lift the Stanley Cup?

Hyperbole is the name of the game in hockey. “It’s early,” people say. “Let’s wait and see.”

The problem with that line of thinking is that too early to tell becomes too late far too quickly for the liking of the head coach. Ask Jon Cooper.

The president’s trophy winning Lightning were enjoying a 3-0 lead in game one of their first round matchup with the Columbus Blue Jackets when rock solid defender Ryan McDonagh tried to force a play by sending a 3 foot high saucer pass across the the slot. If it had worked and Tampa got a chance, then there’s no problem, and the Lightning might have cruised to victory.

But it didn’t work. It was high risk. The Lightning made high risk, skilled plays for 82 games, and when the majority of them work, the coach can accept the ones that don’t.

But in the playoffs, one mistake can shift the momentum and turn a series lead into a series deficit.

After the loss, Jon Cooper cancelled practice the following day.

“Our mentality has to be when we get in these situations is shut teams down, not to add to the lead.” Source.

Everything matters in the playoffs. How will the Lightning respond?

From last week, in case you missed it…


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About the Author
Kelvin Cech

Kelvin Cech

Former editor in chief of The Coaches Site, current head coach of the Winkler Flyers of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League.


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