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Cooper: Lightning have to ‘suck it up’ and ‘fight through’ Wings’ interference

Tampa Bay Lightning v Detroit Red Wings - Game Three

Tampa Bay Lightning v Detroit Red Wings - Game Three

NHLI via Getty Images

Jon Cooper thinks the Detroit Red Wings are excellent cheaters.

Seriously, he means it as a compliment.

“There are 30 teams in the league and nobody does (interference) more than the Detroit Red Wings, hands down,” Cooper said, per the Tampa Tribune. “The old saying, ‘If you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying,’ and they do it to a tee. And my message to our guys is, you have to suck it up, you have to fight through it. You have to bring a gun to a knife fight and that’s how it has to go. Good on them. We have to be better.”

Wings coach Mike Babcock would seem to agree with that last sentiment, about having to “suck it up” and “fight through” any obstruction:

The Wings, up 3-2 in the series, can eliminate the Lightning tonight in Detroit.

P.S. -- Tampa Bay is 2-for-24 on the power play. So even if the Wings are getting away with some interference, they’re still spending a good deal of time shorthanded. The Lightning just haven’t been able to capitalize.