Lightning’s mature mindset has been key to championship success

Panthers Lightning Hockey
Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak (81) watches his shot get past Florida Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky for a goal during the second period in Game 3 of an NHL hockey second-round playoff series Sunday, May 22, 2022, in Tampa, Fla. Looking on is Panthers’ Claude Giroux (28). (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

The Tampa Bay Lightning have been on a historical run over the last two seasons.

Their 10 straight series wins is the third-longest playoff series winning streak behind the vaunted 1980’s New York Islanders dynasty and Montreal Canadiens in the late 70s. 

After Game 1’s 6-2 loss to the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Lightning wasted no time in turning their attention to Friday’s Game 2. It has been that quick shift in focus that has made Tampa Bay the dynasty challenger that they are. 

New York Rangers’ Filip Chytil (72) celebrates after scoring a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the second period of Game 1 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs Eastern Conference finals Wednesday, June 1, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Going into Game 2 on Friday night the Lightning have been historically great following a loss in the last few years of the playoffs. 

In fact, the Lightning currently has 17 straight wins following a loss in the last three postseasons. The biggest reason for their success has been their mindset of never getting too high or low.

That mindset has faired them well over their current playoff run. To the Lightning players, it’s all because of their head coach. 

“How he (Cooper) prepares us, he knows how to handle a loss, he knows when to say the right thing at the right time. He handles the situation really well. One of the best I’ve ever been around.” Pat Maroon said before Game 2. 

There was no better example of that than when Cooper met with reporters an hour and a half before the puck dropped at Madison Square Garden. The Lightning coach was in good spirits, despite his side’s series-opening loss two nights earlier. 

Cooper even joked around with one reporter towards the end of his press conference. The two-time winning Stanley Cup-winning coach was quick to point to his players’ experience as the source of their success after a loss in the postseason. 

“Much like the players, I feel I’ve grown, in trusting our players, and not getting emotionally spent after one game,” Cooper said. 

Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) sprays water on his face during a timeout against the Florida Panthers during the third period in Game 4 of an NHL hockey second-round playoff series Monday, May 23, 2022, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

The Lightning have been almost unbeatable following a loss in the last few playoffs. While much of it can be attributed to their all-time great goaltender, and pristine offensive attack, it’s the mindset that has made them go from good to legendary over the last few rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. 

For more Rangers vs Lightning Eastern Conference Final coverage, visit AMNY.com

More from around NYC