TAMPA– Jon Cooper stated he desires the Tampa Bay Lightning to welcome their prospective to three-peat as Stanley Cup champs.
” We’ve never ever avoided that,” the Lightning coach informed NHL.com after practice at Amalie Arena on Monday. “We had it in 2015. Can you duplicate? And we did. We understand we’re going to hear the three-peat sound. This group, it’s simply a veteran, focused, identified group of men that understands precisely what they need to do.”
The Lightning will raise a banner honoring their 2020-21 champion to the rafters here prior to their season opener versus the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday (7: 30 p.m. ET; ESPN, ESPN , SN, TVAS). It will hang to the right of their 2019-20 champion banner.
But the cravings for more hasn’t subsided with success.
” Even simply having a look around and conference with the management group, they’re truly thrilled for the year in a time when they have a reason not to be,” Cooper stated.
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Lightning captain Steven Stamkos stated another champion would put them in the dynasty discussion in all expert sports. No NHL group has actually won 3 in a row considering that the New York Islanders won 4 successive champions from 1980-83
It hasn’t taken place in the National Basketball Association because the Los Angeles Lakers (2000-02). The last time it occurred in Major League Baseball was the New York Yankees (1998-2000). It has actually never ever occurred in the National Football League.
Cooper stated he would ultimately speak to previous Yankees initially baseman Tino Martinez, who resides in the location, about what it resembled for them opting for their 3rd World Series title in a row.
” From leading to bottom, you take a look at the best groups ever and it’s tough not to state the Edmonton Oilers of the 1980 s weren’t among them, and they never ever did it,” Cooper stated. “That’s how tough it is. Like, no one actually gets to do this.”
The Pittsburgh Penguins keep in mind feeling the very same level of enjoyment about their possibility for 3 straight champions after they won the Cup in 2016 and2017 Their quote ended versus the Washington Capitals in the 2018 Eastern Conference Second Round.
” It’s difficult to win one, not to mention 2,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan stated. “But when you have an excellent group and you’ve had success and you have faith and belief in your group, then anything’s possible. That was the frame of mind of our group entering into that season. I would not envision it’s much various in Tampa.”
Video: Tampa Bay Lightning 2021-22 Season Preview
It isn’t in spite of some considerable modifications to the Lightning’s depth chart.
Their whole 3rd line from the previous 2 seasons is chosen Yanni Gourde going to the Seattle Kraken as part of the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft, Blake Coleman signing a six-year agreement with the Calgary Flames and Barclay Goodrow being traded to and signing with the New York Rangers.
Tyler Johnson, a fourth-line forward last season who might go up into a top-six function when required, was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks.
” I ‘d be worried about them losing their whole 3rd line,” TNT expert Keith Jones stated. “I do not believe we can undervalue how crucial they were to their success. It’s a huge reason that those 3 gamers were essentially removed of there to go to brand-new groups to attempt to assist their brand-new particular groups overcome the bulge. They’re going to be missed out on. It would be an amazing accomplishment if Tampa has the ability to get that 3rd Cup in a row based upon the gamers that they lost.”
But the Lightning appear less worried.
” Change is constantly great,” Cooper stated. “Not extreme, however a bit of modification isn’t a bad thing. We miss out on the men who are gone, no concern. When you change them with the character that we did, you pull for those men. It’s been a smooth shift up until now.”
Tampa Bay signed experienced forwards Corey Perry and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare Perry lost to the Lightning in the previous 2 Cup Final series, in 6 video games as a member of the Dallas Stars in 2020 and 5 with the Montreal Canadiens in 2015.
” He’s heard a great deal of things about that Montreal series and the Dallas series currently,” Stamkos stated.
Zach Bogosian returned on defense, changing David Savard, who signed with the Canadiens. Bogosian won the Cup with the Lightning in 2020.
Brian Elliott is the brand-new backup goalie to Andrei Vasilevskiy, the ruling Conn Smythe Trophy winner who is 34-14 with a.932 conserve portion, 1.90 goals-against average and 6 nothings in 48 Stanley Cup Playoff video games the previous 2 seasons.
Defenseman Cal Foote and forwards Taylor Raddysh and Boris Katchouk are on the lineup after being additionals throughout the run in 2015.
” If anything, we can draw on what we did in 2015 and how we accepted that difficulty, particularly missing our finest gamer in ‘Kuch’ ( Nikita Kucherov) for the entire year,” Stamkos stated. “We understood it wasn’t going to be simple, however we understood if we might simply get to the playoffs … that’s why we didn’t care we completed third in the department. It wasn’t a huge offer for us. We simply wished to get in.”
That’s the inspiration for the Lightning now as they get ready for opening night, for another banner raising event in front of a capacity and for a grind that, if effective, will lead them to a chance to three-peat.
” We simply can’t rest on what has actually occurred the previous 2 years,” Stamkos stated. “The start is important to any season and I believe perhaps even a little bit more so for our group now. Let’s leave to a truly great start. Particularly when you have a group that has actually been together for as long as we have, that’s when you capitalize is at the start of the year when some groups are simply feeling out their lineups, people are getting a possibility, everybody is not called in on their unique groups.
” We understand we’re going to speak about the three-peat. We understand we’re going to discuss the playoffs. The objective right now is to get off to a truly great start.”
NHL.com writer Nicholas J. Cotsonika and independent reporter Wes Crosby added to this story