Maurice thinks Panthers have been too physical in Stanley Cup Final
Physicality has been part of the reason for the Florida Panthers' miraculous run to the Stanley Cup Final, but head coach Paul Maurice believes his team could benefit by toning it down a notch against the Vegas Golden Knights.
"I think the Boston series was more physical than this series," Maurice said, according to Sportsnet's Luke Fox. "I think we've made this series more physical than it needs to be.
"We had 22 hits in the first period in Game 2. Prorate that out, and you don't need 66 hits in a game. As a matter of fact, there's an energy cost to that. We have hitters ... but I don't necessarily need Carter Verhaeghe to have five."
The Panthers were credited with 36 hits in Game 1 and 44 in Game 2. Their aggressive forecheck has been part of their success this postseason, but the Golden Knights have countered with quick breakouts to help take a 2-0 series lead.
Florida's undisciplined play has also been a factor so far in the Cup Final. Vegas has gone 4-for-11 with the man advantage while the Panthers' power play has gone ice-cold, failing to convert on seven opportunities.
"We just need to be a little smarter in certain situations," forward Anthony Duclair said. "Last thing we want to do is keep getting penalties and putting those guys on the power play. Obviously, they've got tons of skill, tons of talent, and can make us pay. We're going to see a little smarter hockey tonight out of us."
Maurice, however, dismissed the notion that physicality has gotten the Panthers in penalty trouble.
"I don't think physicality and discipline have necessarily anything to do with each other," Maurice said. "Discipline is a touchy subject right now for us, and we'll just leave it at that."