2012-13: Cooper’s law
On March 25, 2013, the Lightning made another huge move in kickstarting the new age of Bolts hockey. A day after firing Guy Boucher, they hired Jon Cooper as their new head coach. Cooper had established himself at an AHL level, coaching Tampa Bay’s affiliate to 28 straight wins in 2011-12. The Admirals swept the championship series that year, and Cooper began his winning pedigree.
He would soon prove that AHL success was no fluke. Most likely due to his familiarity with the roster. At the time of his being named head coach, ten players on the Lightning had played for Cooper in Syracuse at some point in the season.
Cooper has now racked up an impressive 305 wins in 508 games, good enough for two division titles and five playoff appearences.
2013-14: “he’s big he’s tall, he’s a ‘frickin’ brick wall!”
In his first season as a starter, Ben Bishop turned heads and then some. He set numerous franchise records, putting up 37 wins, good enough for fourth best in the league. Bishop was named a finalist for the Vezina Trophy, becoming the first Tampa Bay nominee since 1996.
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