Florida Panthers coach Paul Maurice has been known for keeping things light when it comes to his postgame press conferences during these playoffs.
He was in no mood for chitchat or jokes following Game 2 on Monday night.
Maurice’s dour mood was a reflection of his team’s showing in a 7-2 loss to the host Vegas Golden Knights in the Stanley Cup Final.
Not much to smile about on Tuesday night for the Panthers, that’s for sure.
Monday night marked the shortest postgame comments of the postseason for Maurice as he was up at the podium in Vegas for about 2 1/2 minutes.
His answers took up 1:17 of that time.
When asked about the penalties in the game and whether the Panthers were crossing a line a bit, Maurice said he had no problems with what came at the end of the game when a total of 10 players — six from Florida — were issued 10-minute misconducts and tossed from the game.
“Power plays were 2-1 Vegas through 36 minutes of play so it wasn’t discipline,” Maurice said. “What happened after that, I won’t debate.”
Then came a question about Sergei Bobrovsky, whom Maurice pulled after Vegas made it 4-0 early in the second, and whether he would be back for Game 3.
“I don’t know,” Maurice said sarcastically. “I’ll sweat about that one for the next two days. We can be a little better in front of our goaltender. He has been unbelievable for us. I got him out to keep him rested.”
How about what has to happen for the Panthers to make a comeback?
“I guess parts of our game we know we can improve, we have to get there real fast,” he replied. “No doubt about that. We’ll have a pretty simple gameplan. I don’t think it’s about scoring goals in this series, it’s about defending the rush and we weren’t great at that tonight.”
When it came to an update on Radko Gudas, Maurice did not answer that but did comment on the second part of the question which was about Gudas’ influence on the Panthers.
“He is really important,” Maurice said. “He is a force, but he is also a much better hockey player. He makes the highlight films because of his physical play but the quality of his play is very, very high. You miss a guy when he goes out.”
Finally, Maurice was asked about Florida screening its own goalie. At least four goals in this series have com e when Bobrovsky could not see it coming.
“About three inches,’’ Maurice said. “If we’re going to be there, you have to block them, get in front of those shots. We’re working at it, we’re trying. We’re about three inches off on those shots.”
Then, the moderator ended it with a “Thanks, coach.”
“Ok,’’ Maurice said, turning to exit stage left.
Maurice was, as you can see below, in a much better mood on Tuesday morning as he met with the media via a Zoom call from the team hotel in Vegas.
There certainly was a lot more detail in his answers, anyway.
FLORIDA PANTHERS ON DECK
THE 2023 STANLEY CUP FINAL
VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS AT FLORIDA PANTHERS
GAME 3 (Vegas leads 2-0)
- When: Thursday, 8 p.m.
- Where: FLA Live Arena, Sunrise
- TV: TNT
- Radio: WQAM 560-AM, WPOW 96.5 FM2, WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
- Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932
- Series Schedule — Game 1: @Vegas 5, Florida 2; Game 2: @Vegas 7, Florida 2; Game 3: Thursday at Florida, 8 (TNT); Game 4: Saturday at Florida, 8 (TNT); Game 5*:Tuesday June 13 at Vegas, 8 (TNT); Game 6*: Friday June 16 at Florida, 8 (TNT); Game 7*: Monday June 19 at Vegas, 8 (TNT). * – If Necessary
- 2022-23 Regular Season Series (Even 1-1): @Vegas 4, Florida 2 (Jan. 12); @Florida 2, Vegas 1 (March 7)
- All-time Regular Season Series: Golden Knights lead 6-3-1
- Postseason History: First meeting
- How They Got Here — Vegas: d. Winnipeg in 5, Edmonton in 6, Dallas in 6; Florida: d. Boston in 7, Toronto in 5, Carolina in 4.