Maurice: 'We've made this series more physical than it needs to be'
Trailing 2-0 in the Stanley Cup Final, Florida Panthers head coach Paul Maurice suggested his team is making their series against the Vegas Golden Knights "more physical than it needs to be," as they prepare for Thursday's Game 3 on home ice.
"I think the Boston series was more physical than this series. I think we've made this series more physical than it needs to be," Maurice told the media on Thursday. "We had 22 hits in the first period of Game 2. Prorate that out and you don't need 66 hits in a game. There's an energy cost to that. We have hitters. You need to finish check at times. But I don't necessarily need Carter Verhaeghe having five [hits]."
The Panthers dropped Game 2 by a score of 7-2 on Sunday, out-hitting the Golden Knights, 44-24. They out-hit Vegas again in Game 1, 36-29, but lost 5-2.
Florida have been one of the most physical teams in the NHL during the playoffs, leading the league with a total of 655 hits.
Veteran Panthers defenceman Radko Gudas, who leads the playoffs with 81 hits, will play in Game 3 after leaving Game 2 in the first period due to an injury.