Lightning coach under fire for comments about goalie interference

River Hawk
April 30, 2024  (8:50)

Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper
Photo credit: Maple Leafs Hotstove

The Tampa Bay Lightning lost their latest game against the Florida Panthers, eliminating them from the playoffs. However, their head coach Jon Cooper is now under fire for his divisive comments about some of the team's disallowed goals during their game.

The Florida Panthers proved victorious in their series against the Tampa Bay Lightning, taking the series in five rounds. After losing the game 6-1 Monday evening, the Lightning became the second team eliminated from this year's playoffs, one day 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 clear score differential, the Lightning did make some shots on goal. However, they had a couple of disallowed goals as a result of goalie interference.
"Lightning's first goal is no good. Goalie interference"

In a post-game press conference, Lightning head coach Jon Cooper spoke out against the disallowed goals at length. He initially asserted that he found nothing in the first call that seemed to be goalie interference.
«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, what has put him under the microscope is a comment he made just moments later.
«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.»

Though the underlying matter is game-related, most of Cooper's criticism has not come from NHL fans who agree with the officials' calls. Instead, they are coming from those who find his comment to be one of a pattern of sexist remarks.
"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."

Though Jon Cooper may have valid claims about the current understanding and implementation of goalie interference is shaky at best, many will find it hard to hear him out his point. Hopefully this will remind other coaches advocating for better officiating to keep their comments more focused.
APRIL 30   |   601 ANSWERS
Lightning coach under fire for comments about goalie interference

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