Tampa Bay head coach Jon Cooper said that Nick Paul's return to the ice and goal was 'uplifting' in a pivotal Game 3 win over Colorado.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: Let's just move on to Nick Paul.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: I thought that was really cool, the fact that he gets banged up, the dude looked as if he probably shouldn't have been playing in that moment, but looked pretty fine after that. He gets a goal, like, in the second period. Just as he's skating around looking to see if he's OK, then Josh Manson with a really brutal turnover.
And then Ross Colton finds Nick Paul in the slot-- that player you were describing earlier, Omar. I thought that was a cool story. I know playing through pain, it's kind of like a hit-or-miss thing. But that's one of the cooler stories you can find, especially in moments like this, where you have everything to play for and you play through pain and you make it work. I kind of like stories like that. Not if you're like playing with like a ruptured spleen or something like that.
- [LAUGHS] Yeah. That'll be a top-10 moment of the series, for sure. And I think-- it's, man, if you're a team that goes back and forth on like, hey, should we acquire a player at the deadline or give up assets, do it. Man, people thought, for the most part, that Nick Paul would just be like, oh, you know, like a [? depth ?] contributor and that's it.
But Nick Paul has been a standout, which is crazy to say on a team like Tampa. He's been a standout on this team in the playoffs. Like, again, he scored both goals in game 7 against the Leafs. He's scored a lot of huge goals. And, again, watching him like literally shuffle--
--shuffle to the slot and then score is just-- it's huge. Like, it's great for him. But, again, if I'm Jared Bednar and I'm angry at any goal, it's that one. It's that one. I'm like, how do you-- how does that happen?
JULIAN MCKENZIE: He was wide open.
- Like, how does that happen? He's wide open. He could have broke dance and spun on his head [INAUDIBLE] before scoring. So if there's one play from game 3 that Colorado should be looking at and reminding themselves of and then using that as motivation to improve for game 4, it's that play 'cause that can't happen.
JUSTIN CUTHBERT: Yeah, there's a telltale sign of the Lightning when they're at their best and it's like literally everyone is half needing crutches or a stretcher. It's like they just have a parade to the penalty bo-- the penalty box-- the locker room when they're on.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: They sure are.
JUSTIN CUTHBERT: It's so obvious what it requires for them, sometimes, to be at their best. And it's pain a lot of the times. I mean, it's partly a broken-down team but partly a team that's like, OK, clearly, we have to go that extra mile. And that's another example.
And there's gonna be a couple examples, it looks like, with Kucherov a little banged up, Paul a little bit banged up, and Point maybe coming back. Like, this team has been through it, but they seem to get galvanized by going through it, which is interesting.