Game 3: Paul Maurice concedes Panthers’ excessive physicality

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In order to bring the Stanley Cup Final to a competitive level, Paul Maurice, stressed the importance of winning Game 3 on Thursday night. Paul Maurice acknowledged that his team has displayed an excessive level of physicality, stating that they have been “more physical than necessary.” However, he made a clear distinction between physicality and discipline, emphasizing that they are separate matters.

The Florida Panthers’ struggle to maintain discipline during the first two games of the final series against the Vegas Golden Knights is evident in their overall score of 12-4. This lack of discipline is exemplified by their top player, Matthew Tkachuk, who has accumulated 36 minutes as penalty, surpassing his total time on the ice, which is 34 minutes and 34 seconds.

Paul Maurice commented on the contrasting levels of physicality between the current series and the previous one against Boston. Paul Maurice noted that the Panthers had made the current series unnecessarily physical, citing the high number of hits in Game 2’s first period, which amounted to 22. Paul Maurice pointed out that such intensity was excessive, with no need for 66 hits throughout the entire game. He acknowledged the presence of players skilled in delivering hits but expressed that he didn’t expect Carter Verhaeghe.

I believe that physicality and discipline are not inherently related to each other. Currently, discipline is a sensitive topic for our team, and I prefer not to delve further into it.

Paul Maurice

However, Panthers winger Anthony Duclair expanded on the matter, expressing to reporters on Thursday morning, “We simply need to exercise more intelligence in certain situations. The last thing we want is to continue taking penalties and granting the opposing team power play opportunities. They possess significant skill and talent, and they can capitalize on our mistakes. Tonight, you can expect to witness a more astute style of hockey from our team.

On Thursday night, the Panthers will welcome back Radko Gudas, a player known for his physicality and discipline. Coach Paul Maurice confirmed that their valuable defenseman will be returning to the lineup, despite leaving Game 2 due to a powerful reverse-hit delivered by Ivan Barbashev.

Paul Maurice: Marchessault and Lomberg engage in a verbal battle

While mic’d up during Game 2, Jonathan Marchessault treated us to an entertaining chirping exchange with Ryan Lomberg, a forward from the Florida Panthers. Despite both players being listed at a generous height of five-foot-nine, Marchessault chose not to prolong the interaction after a whistle.

With a cheerful demeanor, Marchessault directed a playful remark towards Lomberg, saying, “You’re not worth it, little man.

Ryan Lomberg downplayed the significance of the chirping between him and Marchessault, stating that it’s just a typical playoff series and not a matchup against a superstar like Connor McDavid.

When asked if Marchessault is particularly vocal on the ice, Lomberg responded by saying he hasn’t heard much since he’s usually focused on skating in the opposite direction.

Upon learning about Lomberg’s comments, Marchessault expressed his indifference, noting that he would never engage in a physical altercation with Lomberg because he considers him tough and believes Lomberg is trying to disrupt his game.

Lomberg has accumulated 15 fights in his NHL career, while Marchessault has only been involved in two, according to

Despite being mic’d up, Marchessault appeared surprised that the clip of his chirp was featured on NHL platforms. He expressed that he would have preferred it not to be released, but ultimately, he remains focused on winning hockey games.

So far, the Panthers’ performance in the series has been satisfactory.

Paul Maurice: Achievement and Penalty

Despite being regarded as one of the most impactful players in the playoffs leading up to this point, Tkachuk has struggled to make a significant impact in the current series. Paul Maurice has managed to contribute only one point, a goal scored during garbage time in Game 2. Tkachuk’s penalty record includes three minor penalties and three 10-minute misconducts over the course of two games.

When asked to assess his own performance, Tkachuk acknowledged the need to possess the puck more frequently. Paul Maurice expressed the importance of taking more shots and bringing the puck to the net, recognizing that the opposing team’s defense is effective at guarding the front of the net. However, Tkachuk believes there is still room to exploit areas around the net due to the close proximity of the defense.

Ultimately, the current state of the series is a result of our less-than-ideal performance in the first two games. However, returning to our home ice provides a sense of rejuvenation for all of us. We have consistently protected and excelled on home ice throughout the playoffs, and now it’s crucial for us to maintain that trend and turn this into a competitive series. It’s important to recognize that we can’t make it a series unless we secure a victory in tonight’s game.

Paul Maurice: Size continues to hold significance in the game

Nicolas Hague towers at a height of six-foot-six, followed by Brayden McNabb at six-foot-four, Alex Pietrangelo at a sturdy six-foot-three, and Alec Martinez at the relatively shorter stature of six-foot-one among the starting defensemen of the Golden Knights. Shea Theodore, standing at six-foot-two, weighs the lightest at 197 pounds.

While the league may be trending towards smaller and swifter defensemen, there is no denying that Vegas’s length on the blue line is playing a role in their success. Big defensemen, as long as they possess the necessary skills, have the ability to make a rotating cast of goaltenders look impressive. They excel at clearing the net-front, limiting rebound opportunities, and generally making it challenging for the opposition to navigate their way into the slot.

Their imposing presence is causing trouble for the Panthers, as they assist Adin Hill, who stands at six-foot-foot himself, in restricting Florida’s goal-scoring to an average of two goals per game in the series.

Pietrangelo acknowledges the importance of size, particularly in terms of withstanding physical play and the forecheck. However, what sets their defensive group apart is their ability to move the puck effectively and make plays out of the defensive zone. Additionally, they possess the skill to skate well, not only in the defensive zone but also in the offensive zone. Pietrangelo highlights the offensive contributions of his teammates, mentioning Zach Whitecloud’s impactful play leading to the winning goal in Game 1 and Shea Theodore’s impressive goal. Collectively, they all have the capability to join the offensive rush and withstand physicality effectively.

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