Tampa Bay Lightning team speaks after going down 0-2 in yet another playoff series

For the second consecutive series, the Tampa Bay Lightning find themselves once again down 0-2 in a best of 7 playoff series.

“At the end of day, we lost the game, not the series,” said defenseman Victor Hedman.

The Lightning’s other biggest playoff blowout losses were by five goals. Colorado’s 7-0 win is tied for the second largest margin of victory in a Stanley Cup Final shutout win in NHL history.

“Am I shocked that we lost seven-zip?” said center Steven Stamkos. “I mean, I don’t think we saw that coming.”

The Lighting captain said the margin of defeat is “totally not acceptable, especially at this time of year,” and acknowledged that some might have the back-to-back Stanley Cup champions counted out in the series because of it.

“Listen, people are gonna be watching this game tonight and probably think the series is over,” he said. “But we’re a very resilient group. We were in this position last round. So whether it’s 1-0 or 7-0 or 10-0, it’s a loss in the playoffs. We’ve got to man up as a team. Let’s get back home in front of our fans, and let’s see what we’re made of.”

The Lightning vowed to have a stronger Game 2, saying that had devised ways to slow down the Avalanche’s fleet skaters and turn down their offensive pressure. They did neither.

“We have a game plan and it’s trying to neutralize their speed and their forecheck,” said Stamkos. “And we’ve gotten away from it a little bit at times and it cost us. It takes a great team to realize the mistakes that we’ve made. And I have full confidence in this group that we’ll have a much better effort.”

The Avalanche had a 60-28 shot attempt advantage in Game 2, with the Lightning managing just 16 shots on goal against goalie Darcy Kuemper.

“As soon as we start turning the puck over and giving them chances that’s when the game kind of swayed,” said forward Nick Paul. “We have to figure out a way to get momentum, get shots on net. Not enough shots tonight. We can’t score if you’re not getting any shots.”

“Listen, this is the playoffs and we’re here to win hockey games,” said Cooper. “Vasy gives us the best chance to win a hockey game and he’s our guy. He’s the best goalie in the world and we win together, and we lose together. Even I did, I don’t think he would’ve come out.”

The Lightning skaters said they simply didn’t play well enough in front of Vasilevskiy.

“We left him out to dry tonight,” said Stamkos. “He’s been our backbone for years and years and years. We owe it to him to have a better game next game. By no means is this on him tonight.”

Game 3 shifts Monday night back home for the Lightning as they look to make the needed adjustments to get back into this best of 7 series.

“The game got away from us early and we have shown a propensity to push back for years,” he said. “Tonight, we didn’t. If this becomes a common theme in this series, it will probably be a short one. I never doubt the guys in the room. Does it suck losing a game like that? For sure. We’re not used to it. It doesn’t really happen to us. But is it going to happen at times? Yeah, it is. You’re just hoping it doesn’t happen in the Stanley Cup Final.”

Igor Burdetskiy

Igor Burdetskiy

Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & CEO at Hooked on Hockey Magazine
I grew up playing Ball and Roller Hockey day and night somewhat religiously throughout elementary and middle school. The two don't compare though when I lace up the skates and hit the ice. I live and breathe hockey beyond the perspective of "it's just a game" and I will gladly talk hockey for hours with anyone. Hockey is more than just a lifestyle, it's a culture of passionate people who make memories every time the puck is dropped. Hockey has not only helped me get through some of the hardest times in life but has created some of the best memories to date. Want to talk hockey with me? Shoot me an email: iburdetskiy@hookedonhockey.com and let's talk some hockey!
Igor Burdetskiy
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