By: Jeff Riger

I guess it’s only normal…

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You’re staring elimination in the face. Everybody picked you to win the series. Once again you’ll probably have an early playoff exit. So what do you do? You whine…I guess.

Sunday afternoon in Tampa, Lightning coach Jon Cooper made it a point to talk about the lack of interference penalties that the Wings are being called for. “There are 30 teams in the league and nobody does it more than the Detroit Red Wings, hands down” Cooper said. “The old saying is, “If you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying.’ They do it to a ‘T’.”

Sound like whining? Yep, sure does. And, on Monday there was more of it.

“There’s 8 playoff series, I’m sure what goes on in our series is going on in the rest of them. Fight through it boys! And the guys in stripes can call one” Cooper said.

And, there he went again, he just couldn’t help himself. There would be no need for this blog if Cooper would have just stopped after he told his team to fight through it. I was actually impressed that he took the high road. But he just had to throw in the part of “the guys in stripes.”

Two days in a row Cooper has been whining about a lack of interference calls and frankly I started to wonder if he actually thought it would help? So I asked. Does he think it’s going to work? Will the refs call more interference penalties in game 6?

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“Ok, if you’re trying to get out the “coach is whining for penalties” that’s not it at all. It’s the playoffs, this stuff happens” Cooper said.

Whether you believe Cooper is whining or not, the one stat that’s indisputable is the amount of power plays that the Lighting have enjoyed compared to the Wings. In the five games that have been played, the Lighting have gone 2 for 24 on the power play while the Wings have gone 4 for 19. So not only has Tampa received 5 more chances with an extra attacker, they have only scored on 2 of them. Hmm?

I get it, Cooper is under a tremendous amount of stress and all, but seems to me he should be more angry with his power play unit than with the officials that have given them chance after chance.

Stop you’re whining Cooper and tell your players to do the same. Check out the video as Lightning players talk about Detroit getting away with all those pesky interference penalties.

Oh, one more thing…

Doesn’t it seem like the state of Michigan owns guys named John/Jon Cooper? Seems like Steve Yzerman should have known better.

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Sorry, couldn’t resist.