The Tampa Bay Lightning (5-2-0 ) take on the Boston Bruins (4-2-0) tonight at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. The Lightnings and Bruins opened the season in Boston on October 3rd and the Bruins skated away with the 3-1 victory.
It marked the Lightnings 6th consecutive loss against the Bruins dating back to a 6-1 Lightning victory at home on March 13,2012. Despite their recent struggles against the Bruins the Lightning have defeated them in three of five and five of their past eight games in Tampa.
Since the opening night loss to the Bruins the Lightning have gone on to win 5 of their last 6 games and a lot of that has to do with the play of goalie Ben Bishop who will be in net when the puck drops tonight.
Of Bishop’s play coach Jon Cooper told the Tampa Bay Times,
“I like that he’s calm in the net. He’s stopping the ones he should, and some of the ones he probably shouldn’t. I think in that moment, he let everybody know, he’s feeling it, and it’s fun to watch. You want your team to be like that, to have a little swag going, I’m a big fan of it.”
Cooper has been happy with the first seven games of the season. “If we go 5-2 for every seven games, this is going to be a pretty good year for us.” He breaks down the season thus far saying, “our goal tending has been solid, both of them [Bishop and Lindback] have been solid. Our “D” has jumped in the rush for the most part when we’ve needed them to. Their gaps, their time and space, their giving players for the most part has been excellent. Our neutral zone play we haven’t been giving up the odd man rushes as we have in the past and we’ve been scoring the big goals when we needed them.”
Cooper admits that he and the coaches could pick apart the negatives and the team does have holes “but for the most part the guys and their work ethic, their commitment, and their desire kind of has put us to where we are right now. Ultimately, in the end if the guys are laying it on the line for you, you might not win every game but you’re going to win a lot more than you lose.”