Jon Cooper addressed the media after his team’s 5-0 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.
On his team’s failure to take advantage of its early power-play opportunities:
That clearly didn’t help. I have to tip my cap to the power play of the last few weeks here. It has been dominant. I think when we kind of let the seven minutes of power-play time slide here and not only not do anything with it but give them chance after chance, there is probably a little bit of frustration that set in there that we didn’t need to put upon ourselves.
When you are used to getting on the power play and going to the center ice after you have scored, at some point, I think maybe we thought it was a right that it was going to happen again. Toronto had other ideas. Give them credit, first and foremost.
Do we have better in us? Yes. In Game 1, would you love to have all of that power-play time? Yes, but when you don’t do something with it, it can be a game of momentum. It clearly swung in their direction after that.
On whether his team challenged Jack Campbell enough at five-on-five:
When you ask that question, I am pretty sure you know your own answer.
On whether he felt the frustration set it in for the group:
No question. The frustration was out of not scoring on the power play. That is where the frustration came from. We are better than that.
In the grand scheme of things, if you go one-for-five on the power play all year, you have a pretty decent power play. You are not going to go five for five, especially in a playoff game where everybody is at the peak or the height of their effort and concentration.
We are better than that. We let it get the best of us.
On the number of penalties in the game and adjusting to the officiating standard:
There is probably a little too much made… I heard the word violent was thrown around earlier today. Come on. Maybe that gets in guys’ ears to keep control of a series in a series that hadn’t even started yet.
There were dumb penalties taken both ways. Both teams were dumb. The refs called them. Maybe some they didn’t, but it wasn’t their fault. They were calling what was right in front of them.
Probably both teams are shaking their heads a bit about how many penalties each team took.
There was probably a heightened awareness coming into the series.
On turning the page on this game:
We have to stay tuned and see. This is a group that has shown a lot of resiliency in the last three years. Even when we got knocked out in the first round, it took some resiliency to get back, make the playoffs, and do what we have done the last two years.
It is no guarantee because of our history, but we can definitely draw from it. I have the utmost confidence in our group.
On whether anything surprised him about the way the Leafs played:
No, not really. I am not so sure the Maple Leafs had to play particularly well to beat us tonight. You have to win four. You don’t want to give teams any freebies. We probably gave them a bit of a freebie tonight. It was hard to judge either team tonight.