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Lightning coach Jon Cooper stays calm behind the bench by chewing gum

Monday, 04.21.2014 / 3:45 PM / News

The Canadian Press

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Lightning coach Jon Cooper stays calm behind the bench by chewing gum

TAMPA, Fla. - What's the secret to Jon Cooper's calm demeanour behind the Tampa Bay Lightning bench? Apparently chewing gum.

Cooper started the tradition of chewing gum when he got into coaching and it has become a habit or superstition ever since.

"One piece goes in at the beginning and it stays in the rest of the game," he said. "It doesn't come out."

Cooper, a Prince George, B.C., native, is in his first full NHL season. He won championships in the AHL and USHL previously. Before that, he was a lawyer.

Gum-chewing isn't something he studies, but it's part of his routine.

"I don't watch myself on the bench so I don't know how hard I chew it," he said. "Apparently I do chew it pretty hard."

Given how close the Lightning and Montreal Canadiens have played each other this season and then into overtime in Game 1 —with the Habs winning the playoff opener 5-4 — that can become more of a chore than anyone would expect.

"By the time you get deep into overtimes, it's a tough one to chew," Cooper said.

Quote of the Day

For us it's a little bit different. I've never been in front of this much media. This is more than we've ever had to deal with in Tampa. I guess we're on a little bit bigger stage now. It's nice, you have to enjoy it. This doesn't happen too often.

— Lightning forward J.T. Brown after his first Media Day experience on Tuesday in preparation of Game 1 on Wednesday