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Lightning coach Cooper eager to take next step

Wednesday, 06.18.2014 / 6:15 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  / NHL Live blog

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NHL Live blog
Lightning coach Cooper eager to take next step

Tampa Bay Lightning coach and Jack Adams Award finalist Jon Cooper joined NHL Live to look back at the 2013-14 season and what the future holds for his team.

Cooper, Mike Babcock of the Detroit Red Wings and Patrick Roy of the Colorado Avalanche are the three finalists for the Adams Award, presented to the coach who has "contributed the most to his team's success." The winner will be announced June 24 during the 2014 NHL Awards from Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas. The 2014 NHL Awards will be broadcast by NBCSN in the United States and CBC in Canada.

Cooper took over the Lightning team late in the 2012-13 season, when they finished 28th in the League standings. In his first full season, he guided the Lighting to a 46-27-9 record (101 points) and second-place finish before they were swept by the Montreal Canadiens in the Eastern Conference First Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"What we did learn is we learned that we belong," Cooper said. "Not only myself and the staff, but our players, they come into the League and they're wide-eyed and a little wet behind the ears, but I think all these guys got that feeling that they belong. It was very disappointing for us to lose, but the way we lost made it even sting that much more in the fact that we got swept.

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