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2024 Stanley Cup Final

Better Call Paul: Maurice In Better Mood Following Dour Presser



Paul maurice
Florida Panthers coach Paul Maurice was in a much better mood Tuesday afternoon than he was on Monday night following his team’s 4-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final. // Photos @GeorgeRichards

FORT LAUDERDALE — In two years with the Florida Panthers, win or lose, Paul Maurice is pretty upbeat and often self-deprecating in his postgame comments.

Sure, there have been outliers following a late goal — or penalty — which cost his team a victory, but for the most part, Maurice brings the same energy night after night.

That was not the case Monday night following Florida’s 4-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Despite being closer than he, or the Panthers, have ever been to the Stanley Cup, Maurice was certainly sour in his postgame remarks.

He did not crack a smile, much less a joke, after captain Sasha Barkov took a high elbow from Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl and was forced out of the game midway through the third period.

“This isn’t The Oprah Winfrey Show,’’ Maurice spat when asked about what he thought of the hit. “My feelings don’t matter.’’

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Maurice was in much better spirits Tuesday afternoon.

As Maurice walked into the IcePlex’s makeshift press conference room, he joked about the heavy rains, comparing the gathered media to postal carriers braving the elements to be there.

Yeah, Paul Maurice was back.

“I try to present myself honestly, and I had to measure my words,” Maurice said when asked about his 180 from the night before.

“I knew, going into that press conference to shut up. I was telling myself ‘just shut up!’ Because you’re emotional, right? You’re wired. So, I tried to keep it short.

“I know I [was] being a bit of a jerk to you, and you guys don’t deserve it. You didn’t do anything wrong. That’s how I felt, that’s how I was feeling. You didn’t get to see what I was feeling so the manifestation was, just grumpy and grinding his teeth. But I didn’t swear — I don’t think.”

The uncertainty of Barkov’s health overshadowed Florida’s big win on Monday night.

Paul Maurice said Barkov was feeling better and left the door open for his team captain to play Thursday night in Game 3 up in Edmonton.

On Monday, Barkov’s health was an obvious topic of conversation, keeping what should have been a celebratory mood around the team as gloomy as Tuesday’s weather in Broward County.

The Panthers are two wins away from claiming the Stanley Cup for the first time — Carter Verhaeghe and Vladimir Tarasenko are the only players who have won it before — and the team seems focused on the task.

Whether Barkov will be back remains up in the air.

At least things felt a little more upbeat on Tuesday.

“I want our team to have a mental discipline where we leave the night,” Maurice said. “So you got my emotion from the game last night, and now it is done. Today is my off day, it’s a rainy day in Florida.”

For More FHN Coverage of the Florida Panthers:

Panthers Lead Best of 7 Series 2-0
  • When: Thursday, 8 p.m.
  • Where: Rogers Place; Edmonton, Alberta
  • National TV: ABC
  • Streaming: ESPN+/Hulu
  • Radio: WQAM 560-AM; WPOW 96.5-FM2; WBZT 1230-AM (West Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); WCZR 101.7-FM (Treasure Coast); SiriusXM
  • Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932, NHL app
  • Series Schedule, All Games 8 p.m. on ABC — Game 1: @Florida 3, Edmonton 0; Game 2: @Florida 4, Edmonton 1; Game 3: Florida at Edmonton, Thursday; Game 4:Florida at Edmonton, Saturday June 15; Game 5*: Edmonton at Florida, Tuesday June 18; Game 6*:Florida at Edmonton, Friday June 21; Game 7*: Edmonton at Florida, Monday June 24. (*) – If Necessary
  • How They Got Here — Florida: d. Tampa Bay 4-1, Boston 4-2, New York Rangers 4-2; Edmonton: d. Los Angeles 4-1, Vancouver 4-3, Dallas 4-2.
  • This Season (Florida Won 2-0) — At Florida: Panthers 5, Oilers 3 (Nov. 20). At Edmonton: Panthers 5, Oilers 2 (Dec. 17).
  • Last Season: Edmonton Won 2-0
  • All-time Regular Season Series: Oilers lead 23-16-0, 3 ties
  • Postseason History: First Meeting

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