In most cases, it’s cause for celebration when you punch your ticket to the postseason. The Florida Panthers’ head coach, Paul Maurice, was everything but jubilant when his team secured a position in the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

After his club’s 3-2 loss to the New York Islanders on March 28, Florida’s bench manager was furious during his postgame media availability, as initially reported by Panthers reporter Colby Guy and verified by multiple other sources. This was the case even though the team had secured its seventh consecutive postseason berth.

Guy said on X, “Paul Maurice refused to answer any questions regarding the Panthers clinching a postseason spot.” “He felt that tonight’s effort was lacking. “Free quote [expletive] day is today.” Utilize everything you believe I might say. I refuse to [expletive] over it.

That same night, the Detroit Red Wings’ regulation loss against the Carolina Hurricanes punched the Panthers’ ticket to the postseason. Despite this, Maurice was not happy with his club’s performance against a desperate Islanders squad that is still vying for a postseason berth.
The Panthers did not upload footage of Maurice’s media availability to their team website, but Amalie Benjamin of broke a piece on Friday morning that included further details and remarks from the coach of the Panthers.

Panthers' Paul Maurice Livid After Team Clinches Playoff Berth -

Benjamin was told by Maurice, “I’m just a grumpy old man, but I appreciate the questions.” “So tomorrow, I’ll respond to everyone. Right now, I don’t feel like talking about positive things.

Panthers Control Their Own Destiny Down the Stretch This Season

The Panthers have had a rough recent run, having only won one of their previous seven games and giving up two shutouts. They are still only two points behind the Boston Bruins in the Atlantic Division lead, though.

The Panthers will be making the playoffs for the fifth consecutive year and the second consecutive year under Maurice’s leadership. The Panthers advanced to the Stanley Cup Final in his first season as the Florida bench boss, where they were defeated in five games by the Vegas Golden Knights. The Panthers qualified for the playoffs as a Wild Card team last season.

With one game left in their regular season schedule, the Panthers last year secured their postseason berth on April 11. They still have nine games left in this season, and it is unknown who they will play in the first round.

Following Thursday’s loss to the Islanders, Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov told reporters, “We have a little breathing room here because last year it came before the last game of the season.” “But naturally, we are aware that we still have a lot of work ahead of us and that we must improve—certainly beyond the previous few games.”

Three More Teams Clinch Postseason Berths as Stanley Cup Playoff Picture Takes Shape

The Panthers are the only clubs in the Eastern Conference who have purchased postseason tickets, along with the Boston Bruins, New York Rangers, and Carolina Hurricanes. The Dallas Stars of the Western Conference defeated the Vancouver Canucks 3-1 on Thursday to secure their postseason berth. Since the Rangers, San Jose Sharks, Anaheim Ducks, and Edmonton Oilers done it on the same day precisely seven years ago, it was the first time that four clubs had secured a postseason spot on the same day.

The Panthers will play four games away at Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, and Boston before coming home after playing the Detroit Red Wings, who are now two points off of the second Wild Card slot in the Eastern Conference.

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