Coach Jon Cooper ridiculed questions over the Tampa Bay Lightning’s offensive prowess after they won a third straight game and set a franchise record with 22 goals in a triple-game span.
The Lightning have won the Stanley Cup in each of the past two seasons and are 12/1 to three-peat in 2021/22.
In less than a week Tampa Bay have hammered the Toronto Maple Leafs 8-1, Nashville Predators 6-2 and ended the Florida Panthers’ 13-game winning streak with an 8-4 victory.
Over the past five games, Copper’s star players have shown up when doubts were beginning to be raised about their credentials to win a triple crown.
Defenceman Victor Hedman and forwards Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos have combined for a remarkable 43 points over the handful of games, scoring 13 goals and 30 assists.
The Lightning (49-22-8) sit third in the Atlantic Division, five points behind the Maple Leafs in second with a game in hand.
54-year-old Cooper has led the Lightning to the playoffs in seven of his nine season in charge. In addition to the recent back-to-back championship, under the Canadian Tampa Bay have made two conference Finals and a further Stanley Cup Final.
Copper said to the media: "We just went through a stretch where we lost a 1-0 game in Dallas and we barely scored the game before that. Everybody's like, 'Where's the offense?' Well, there it is. Now you're seeing it."