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Jon Cooper’s Challenge: A Decisive Moment

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TAMPA | We will never know, but one wonders what the effect would have been on the Lightning bolt and on the crowd gathered at the Amalie Arena if Valeri Nichushkin’s goal, finally overturned after a challenge from Jon Cooper, had had to be satisfied. .

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Is it possible that the legs of the double champions were cut off?

“I have enough faith in this group to believe we would be able to bounce back. Also, that’s what we did after they scored the first goal, ”said Victor Hedman.

The Lightning defender is not entirely wrong when he talks about Gabriel Landeskog’s first goal of the evening. Except that Avalanche would then go ahead 2-0.

Furthermore, Cooper didn’t need to challenge the sequence that led to Nichushkin’s goal. The referees were about to put the puck back into play when the Lightning manager stepped forward. “We are at the mercy of the covers we have on television. If we miss the right angle, we can’t make the decision, ”Cooper explained.

Yet, on the ice at least, it seemed clear.

“It was an offside. We saw it right away. Yes, it was small, but we saw it right away, ”Hedman said.

A dubious move

On the Avalanche pitch, we didn’t really appreciate the delay between the Russian striker’s goal and the call from Lightning.

“It was long,” complained Jared Bednar, once on the podium, after the meeting.

“The referee was about to make the faceoff. It would have been nice if he had,” Landeskog said. You know, we’ve been in this situation before too. When you miss the right cover, you can’t be sure. But in the end, I believe the right decision has been made. “

Elsewhere, with five minutes left in the game, Nikita Kucherov left the game after being bullied by Devon Toews.

When asked what he thought of the gesture of the Avalanche defender, Cooper tried to go there with a nuanced answer.

“When you ask this type of question, you know the answer you want to get. Everyone in the building knows the answer, “the British Columbia coach said for the first time.

“Hockey is a contact game. On the other hand, the guys know what they are doing on the ice. Smart gamers know what they are doing with their club. We’ve all seen it, “she added.

Everyone’s contribution

It does not matter. This lightning win saved him from being cornered. Everyone in the local locker room understood what is at stake.

“We were losing by two games, we knew we had to win this game. It wasn’t an elimination match, but it came very close. We needed everyone to stand up, ”Hedman said.

This is exactly what happened, considering that 10 different players participated in the scoring.

“We knew we had to recover. We needed a big game from everyone, Anthony Cirelli said. We have pride. We all wanted to jump on the ice and do our job. “

“We kept it simple, we didn’t create a turnaround, we didn’t allow them to pick up speed in their transition game. In fact, we played it simple and sent the pucks behind their defenders, “she explained.

A recipe that Il Fulmine will have to repeat on Wednesday evening.

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