CORAL SPRINGS — In the days following his team’s loss in the Stanley Cup Final, Florida Panthers coach Paul Maurice would be doing something and suddenly a wave of frustration sweep over him.
A certain four-letter word would follow.
“It is so raw and painful,” Maurice said in his season-ending press conference following Florida’s Game 5 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights.
“We were just laughing about the times you walk around, take a deep breath and just say ‘F**k!’ I did that 10 times today. You just want it so bad for them.”
Maurice, of course, was not alone in his exasperation.
Getting so close to your dream and seeing it go to your opponent can be hard to get over, especially for someone who has been chasing that dream in this game a long time.
Eventually, however, life goes on and you start to think about it less and less.
It does take time.
“It did not happen until I walked into this rink in August,” Maurice told Florida Hockey Now on Saturday afternoon.
“You have to see the players. Once you see the players, you start getting fired up all over again. You’re like, ‘to hell with it, let’s do it again.’ The first two or three weeks, (losing) is the only thing that was in your head. It is all you see. Then, slowly, you start to see the good.”
Training camp opening last week marked a return to the chase. That certainly helps.
Paul Maurice is back after it once more.