EDMONTON | The disappointment was palpable in the Lightning camp after Game 5. Who wouldn't have been after missing a first chance to lift the Stanley Cup? Disappointed, yes. Downcast, no.
And the reason is very simple. Jon Cooper and his men went through exactly the same scenario in the previous round. While they had the chance to eliminate the Islanders in five games, the Lightning lost in the second overtime.
“This is the reality of the series. You won't win every elimination match. We have already experienced it, ”said Yanni Gourde, the day after this setback.
Comments joining those made the day before by Victor Hedman.
“We've been there before. We are a resilient group, we know how to face adversity. Obviously, we are disappointed not to have won, but we will be ready for the next game, ”said the defender.
Knowing how to bounce back
Knowing how to bounce back is indeed a quality that the Lightning has applied to the letter since the start of the playoff tournament. So far, each of his six losses has been followed by a victory.
“We have always responded well so far. It's been two months since the series started. We have a pretty good idea of what to expect and how to react, ”said Cooper.
With the Lightning dominating in three of the first four games, many believed the showdown would be speedy. There is enough experience in the Lightning locker room not to make the same mistake.
“We are in the Stanley Cup final. There aren't often sweeps or wins in five games. We more often see series that end in six or seven games, “said the coach of the Lightning.
Cooper knows his story. In 1998, the final was won in four games for a fourth straight year. Since then, only four final rounds have been concluded in less than six games. In 2002, 2007, 2014 and 2018, Detroit, Anaheim, Los Angeles and Washington needed five games to lift the precious trophy.
“We were leading this series 3 to 1. We have more of a chance [to win it]. We lost one, but we're still positive, ”added the Lightning coach.
When responding to the author of these lines, Gourde admitted that the thirty hours that separated him from the sixth game would seem interminable.
“Yes, it may be longer until tomorrow. Especially since we are in a bubble. However, when the puck falls, we will be ready, assured the Quebecer. Everyone is excited to play hockey and jump on the ice to win a cup. ”
Hopefully for him and his teammates that the second attempt will be a good one.