Lightning’s Jon Cooper fires back at Derek Lalonde’s Andrei Vasilevskiy claim – Fitnessnacks & Sports

Former Tampa Bay Lightning assistant coach Derek Lalonde made some interesting comments after Tampa lost Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs to the Toronto Maple Leafs. And current Lightning head coach Jon Cooper isn’t exactly thrilled with what he heard.

Lalonde’s comments regarded the ability of goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy. Lalonde, who is the head coach of the Detroit Red Wings, spoke about Vasilevskiy’s ability to see pucks shot from the point.

Lalonde said on Sportsnet that Tampa Bay conducted a study “back in the day.” This study showed that Vasilevskiy is “one of the lower percentage goalies in finding pucks from the point.” Lalonde claimed this knowledge led to the team changing their defensive schemes.

Cooper spoke to reporters Wednesday ahead of his team’s crucial Game 5 showdown with the Maple Leafs on Thursday. He didn’t mince words and straight up called Lalonde’s comments false.

“I heard about it,” Cooper told reporters. “Listen, Sportsnet is paying him well to go give an opinion, so he has to make something up about that kind of stuff.”

Cooper did go on to say that Lalonde isn’t wrong for trying to give the fans something to talk about. It’s a matter of being factual in the things you say that the Lightning head coach is concerned with.

“He is there because he was an assistant coach on this team. He is trying to offer insight and give the fans something. And he should be doing that. It’s just making sure it’s accurate in what he is saying,” Cooper continued.

The Lightning trail the Maple Leafs 3-1 in their first-round series. A loss on Thursday sees Tampa Bay eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs. It’d mark the first time since 2019 that the Lightning were eliminated in the first round.

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