Cooper critical of Game 4 ending: “we should still be playing”

Jon Cooper was critical of NHL officials
Colorado Avalanche center Nazem Kadri shoots the puck into the top of the goal past Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) for a goal during overtime of Game 4 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Finals on Wednesday, June 22, 2022, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Jon Cooper and the Tampa Bay Lightning were not pleased with how Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final ended. 

In the closing seconds before Nazem Kadri scored to give the Colorado Avalanche a 3-2 victory in overtime, it appeared, to Cooper at least, that the Avalanche had to many men on the ice. 

“This one is going to sting much more than others,” Cooper said following the loss “It’s going to be hard for me to speak.”

Cooper then shifted his comments and concerns to the final play that, he felt, should not have been allowed. 

“You’re going to see what I mean when you see the winning goal.”

Cooper took only one question after the game and then left. 

Review after the game showed that the Avalanche had six skaters on the ice when Kadri went in for the score. 

NHL Hockey Operations said in a statement following the game that the play is a judgement call and the “call was not subject to video review either by Hockey Ops or the on-ice officials.”

Kadri later responded to Cooper’s comments saying “”I’m not quite sure what he really was, what he was thinking of why it shouldn’t have counted. That kind of confuses me a little bit.”

The goal gave Colorado a commanding 3-1 series lead in the Stanley Cup Finals. Only once in NHL history has a team come back from a 3-1 series deficit to win in the Cup Final. Toronto defeated Detroit in 1942 to be the only team to do it. 

Cooper’s Gripe from Historical Standpoint

This is not the first, or last time a playoff team has had a worthy complaint when it comes to having too many men on the ice. 

In last years Eastern Conference Finals, New York Islanders coach Barry Trotz was recorded being irate over a no-call that helped the Lightning take the lead over New York. Tampa would go on to win 4-2 to tie the series at one. 

Tampa Bay would go on to win that series in seven games en-route to their second consecutive Stanley Cup Title. 

While not reviewable, Colorado’s win sets the stage for a do-or-die scenario for Tampa Bay in Game 5.  

Puck drop is scheduled for Friday at 8:00pm in Denver. 

For more on the Stanley Cup Final, turn to AMNY.com