The Chicago

The Chicago

Postautor: hongwei28 » 11 sie 2018, o 03:36

Jon Cooper searched for adequate words to describe the feeling of coming within one victory of playing for the Stanley Cup.

The Tampa Bay Lightning have done it twice in the past three years. And it hurts.

”It’s everything from agonizing to angry to disappointed to shock Jason Sanders Color Rush Jersey ,” the coach said Thursday, less than 24 hours after one of the most successful seasons in franchise history came to a screeching halt with a 4-0 loss to Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final.

”I’m sure that’s going to turn into proud and happy for our group,” he added. ”There are so many good emotions about coaching this team … but the emotions of how it ended is tough.”

After compiling the best record in the Eastern Conference during the regular season, eliminating the New Jersey Devils and Boston Bruins in the first two rounds of the playoffs, and rebounding from losing the first games of the conference final to take a 3-2 series lead, the Lightning truly believed this was their year.

Now, general manager Steve Yzerman and Cooper face decisions about what needs to be tweaked.

The Lightning won Game 7 of the conference final against the Rangers in 2015, advancing to the Stanley Cup Final for the second time in franchise history. They made it back to the East final, only to lose to the Pittsburgh Penguins in seven games two years ago.

”If anybody sits and says it was an unsuccessful season, I have to question that. You look back at this team. All the accomplishments of the regular season, and then to be one game away from getting to the Stanley Cup Final http://www.buccaneersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-ronald-jones-ii-jersey ,” Cooper said, his voice trailing off.

”Now it’s just solving that piece of the puzzle,” the coach added, ”getting over the top.”

With a talented roster that’s both deep and fairly young, there won’t be wholesale changes.

Goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy, a Vezina Trophy finalist in his first full season as a starter, is just 23 years old.

Leading scorer Nikita Kucherov is 24, Norris Trophy finalist Victor Hedman is 27, and emerging star Brayden Point is just 22.

Even captain Steven Stamkos, completing his 10th NHL season, is only 28.

”What were we missing? A couple of goals in Game 7 Rasheem Green Color Rush Jersey ,” Cooper said. ”You can sit here and pick apart all you want of what went wrong, it was one game. We didn’t score and we lost the game. They were opportunistic and scored, and they advanced. … It’s razor-thin how close this league is.”

Yzerman said there are a number of areas where the Lightning need to get better moving forward, including defensively.

The GM, however, rejected the notion that somehow the season was a failure because a team with such high expectations didn’t get back to the championship round.

”It’s really difficult to win the Stanley Cup, and if you’re going to measure every year strictly on it’s a failure if we win or not, I don’t think I look at it that way,” Yzerman said.

”There’s a process and there’s no definitive timeline for it. Just continue to improve, continue to hang around, I guess Cheap Sam Darnold Jersey , and we’re going to win one of these things,” the GM added. ”It’s not a failure. It’s a disappointment at this stage, but we’re not sitting here saying we’re the best team by a mile. We realize there’s a bunch of good teams out there, a group of teams that could win the Stanley Cup.”

Cooper said one thing it’s important to not do this summer is over-react.

”It’s hard to explain just how hard it is to get here,” the coach said. ”There are 30 teams who are going to get Monday morning quarterbacked, and one team that is not. You just have to build on your strengths and keep getting better and come back next year stronger than ever.”



Padres manager Andy Green is trying not to get too excited about San Diego’s run of success. His players seem to be enjoying it, though.

Eric Lauer carried a shutout into the sixth inning, Manuel Margot had three hits and the Padres beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-2 on Wednesday night to win their fifth straight series.

San Diego has won 11 of 15 games, including five of its last seven. It’s the first time the Padres have won five consecutive series since 2010.

”It means we’re playing good baseball and that’s the most important thing,” said shortstop Freddy Galvis, who sparked the attack with a two-run double in the first inning.

Marcell Ozuna homered for the Cardinals Michael Dickson Color Rush Jersey , who have lost three of four.

Green warned his players about staying on an even keel heading into a four-game series in Atlanta.

”I don’t want to make too much out of the streak,” Green said. ”Over the course of a season, every team has some hot streaks and cold streaks. You can’t get caught up in those moments. It doesn’t serve the purpose.”

The Padres took two of three in a stadium where they had struggled. St. Louis had won 30 of its previous 42 home games against San Diego.

Lauer (3-4) gave up two runs and eight hits over 5 2/3 innings. He’s 3-0 when getting two or more runs of support.

”I felt a lot more comfortable out on the mound as far as not pressing,” Lauer said. ”I think I did a good job. I was out there just throwing my game.”

Lauer gave up six runs to St. Louis on seven hits during a 9-5 loss on May 11. The Cardinals hit four homers off him in a short 2 1/3 inning stint.

”I pretty much had the same game plan, I wanted to attack hitters,” Lauer said.

Brad Hand recorded his 21st save in 23 opportunities. He got Jedd Gyorko to ground into a double play after hitting Yadier Molina to start the ninth.

San Diego reliever Jose Castillo struck out all four batters he faced. The Padres pitching staff did not walk a batter in the three-game series.

St. Louis starter Luke Weaver (3-6) gave up four runs and nine hits over 5 1/3 innings. He has just one win over his last 11 starts.

”I didn’t think it was a terrible start,” Weaver said. ”They just capitalized on the moments they needed to. I’ve just got to go back to the drawing board.”

Margot, who singled in the second and fourth, stretched the lead to 3-0 with a run-scoring triple in the sixth. Raffy Lopez followed with a broken-bat single off reliever Austin Gomber for a 4-0 lead.

Margot has hit safely in his last six games, going 9 for 20. He had two hits in a 4-2 win Tuesday.

Ozuna, who leads the team with 21 multihit games http://www.seahawksauthorizedshops.com/authentic-rashaad-penny-jersey , has hit safely in 11 of his last 12.

St. Louis came into the series having won three of four.

”Sometimes we do our best with a real good team and sometimes – well I don’t know,” Ozuna said. ”It’s baseball and in baseball anything happens.”

SHARP DEFENSE

The Cardinals have not allowed an error in their last six games. It is their longest errorless stretch since Aug. 3-8 last season.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Padres: C Austin Hedges began a rehab assignment with Class A Lake Elsinore on Tuesday. He went 1 for 2. Hedges was placed on the DL on May 1 with right elbow tendonitis. He has missed 38 games.

Cardinals: INF Jose Martinez will be out on paternity leave for the upcoming weekend series against the Chicago Cubs.

UP NEXT:

Padres: RHP Tyson Ross (5-3, 3.43) will open a four-game series at Atlanta against RHP Anibal Sanchez (2-0, 2.37) on Thursday. The Padres are in 10-3 when Tyson starts and have won the last six.

Cardinals: RHP Michael Wacha (8-1, 2.47) face LHP Jon Lester (7-2, 2.22) in the first of a three-game home series against the Chicago Cubs on Friday. Wacha has won his last eight decisions against the Cubs.



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