Jon Cooper apparently saw the writing on the Boston Bruins' wall before it went up.
After dropping Game 1 of the teams' second-round Stanley Cup Playoff series, the Tampa Bay Lightning stormed back to win four straight and dispatch the Bruins in five games.
The turning point in the series was Tampa Bay's 7-1 trouncing of Boston in Game 3 -- which may have been inspired by their head coach's fiery intermission speech.
Here's what a mic'd up Cooper told the Lightning in the dressing room after the first period, as captured on the ESPN+ docuseries "Quest for the Stanley Cup" that aired Wednesday, via Boston.com's Chad Finn:
"You’ve put them in an uncomfortable spot, right? They don’t want to be here, they don’t know how to handle it, because you’re harder. And the reason you’re doing it is because you keep getting pucks behind them.
"You keep [expletive] pounding them, and they don’t like it. You can send a message now that we’re here."
The Lightning certainly sent that message, outscoring Boston 4-1 in the second period then winning two more games against a demoralized B's squad to advance to the Eastern Conference Final.
It's probably a stretch to say the Bruins didn't want to be in Toronto, and Cooper wouldn't make such a statement outside the dressing room confines.
Considering how the B's played in Game 3, however, we can't blame Cooper for sensing blood in the water.