John Cooper facing criticism for his post-elimination comments

Samer Dagher
April 30, 2024  (11:04)

Tampa Bay Lightning head coach John Cooper during press conference
Photo credit: Sportsnet

Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper is under fire for his comments following their final playoff game against the Florida Panthers.

The Lightning's defeat, with a final score of 6-1, ended their playoff run, making them the second team to be eliminated after the New York Rangers swept the Washington Capitals.
"The Panthers DOMINATED the Lightning with 6 GOALS to close out the series and advance to the next round. 😤"

Despite the score difference, the Lightning had several shots on goal, some of which were disallowed due to goalie interference.
"Lightning's first goal is no good. Goalie interference"

In a post-game press conference, Cooper expressed frustration about the disallowed goals, particularly questioning the criteria for goalie interference. He argued that the calls should only be made for egregious violations, which he couldn't find in the first instance.
«This is clearly a turning point in the game to pull a goal off the board it has to be unbelievably egregious. I couldn't find anything remotely egregious on the first one.»

However, it was a comment made by Cooper that drew significant backlash.
«Is it net-front battles aren't allowed anymore? The boxing out is like prison rules in the playoffs but it's not prison rules for the goalie? We might as well put skirts on them then, if that's how it's gonna be. They have to battle through stuff too I think we're letting the goalies off the hook.»

Many interpreted this as a sexist remark, leading to criticism of Cooper's language.
"I'm with him on the goaltenders. But the skirt comment was just unnecessary, and frankly untrue. I've watched our Canadian Women's Team play and they play a tough brand of hockey when necessary too."

While Cooper's concerns about goalie interference are valid, his choice of words has overshadowed the message. Many feel that focusing on improving officiating without resorting to insensitive remarks would be more effective.
As seen on hockeypatrol
Lightning coach under fire for comments about goalie interference
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John Cooper facing criticism for his post-elimination comments

Do you agree with Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper's comments about goaltender interference?

Yes, but he went too far with his comments20234.9 %
Yes, well said28649.5 %
No9015.6 %
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