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After having ‘too many passengers’ in loss to Habs, Bolts coaches will do anything ‘to make this better’

Jon Cooper, Steven Stamkos

Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper and center Steven Stamkos (91) react to a penalty call during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Washington Capitals Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)


The Tampa Bay Lightning weren’t overly impressed with their performance in Thursday’s 3-0 loss to the Montreal Canadiens. After the game, Steven Stamkos complained about there being “too many passengers” after Thursday’s loss to Montreal, and on Friday it was coach Jon Cooper’s turn to put some more pressure on his coaching staff.

“One thing nobody is doing is pointing fingers at anybody,” said Cooper, per the Tampa Bay Times. “To be honest, it starts with us at the top. And we’ve got to look, when things aren’t going as well as you’d like, (at) anything we can do differently to make this better. We’re the first ones that are trying to motivate and make sure we’re putting guys in right spots to succeed. That’s our jobs as the coaching staff.”

Cooper’s team had a mediocre month of March and they’re hoping April will be different. The Lightning were dominant in some games last month, but looked completely uninterested at other times. They finished the month of March with a 7-6-1 record.

The Bolts have dropped two of their last three games with their only win coming against the lowly Maple Leafs. Although their spot in the postseason in secured, the Lightning are still in a battle for the Atlantic Division crown against the Panthers. As of right now, the Bolts are two points behind Florida, but the Lightning would own the tie-breaker because they’ve won more games in regulation or overtime.

“We’re 77 games in, and we’ve run into all sort of scenarios this year,” added Cooper. “It’s just a little bit of getting ourselves back on the same page. You’ve got 20 guys on the ice, and trying to get all of them on the same page, I think every single coach probably goes through the same difficulties.”

The Lightning have five games remaining with only two of them being against teams currently in a playoff position. If they can get back on track, there’s a very real chance that they could come away with the division crown.