Tampa Bay's Jon Cooper has made a decision that could have far-reaching consequences

BY MARCO    MARCH 5, 2023  (9:40)
The Tampa Bay Lightning is possibly the only NHL team that is taken for granted that everything is going well.

After three straight appearances in the Stanley Cup Final, which includes two championships, the majority of people believe that this team is possibly the best equipped to be successful every time.

However, in the last few weeks, this team has been facing shortcomings that could work against them in the long run.

Indeed, we saw a real shocker yesterday in the Lightning camp, as Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper made a very bold decision in the game against the Buffalo Sabres.


In fact, it's unheard of in Tampa.

The coach took everyone by surprise when he decided to bench his three best players, Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point.

Unbelievable! That's a complete trio that didn't play for a period of time, which means that Cooper was running three forward lines.

See his explanation:

"As a coach, you have to put your team in the best possible position to win.

These players give us the best chance to win 99.9 percent of the time, when they're on the ice, but I didn't feel that was the case for 20 minutes today. The standards are high here and everyone has to adhere to them." - Jon Cooper

Let's just say this is a very big message the head coach is trying to send to his star players, while it could possibly create some history between the team's leadership group and their coach.

Anyway, I don't recall ever seeing this before, where three star players were benched at the same time for a full period.

TVA Sports even calls it an "internal division", but well, I wouldn't go so far as to say that, but you be the judge.



Credit: HabsetLNH.com
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