Panthers’ Paul Maurice has bizarre postgame exchange discussing controversial goal vs. Bruins

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“I am absolutely partisan, like 100 percent. Sometimes, I feel like you guys are, too.”

Panthers head coach Paul Maurice during a press conference earlier in the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Paul Maurice’s reaction to Game 4 Bruins-Panthers controversy: The clear flash point in Sunday’s Game 4 of the Bruins-Panthers playoff series was the controversial goal from Florida’s Sam Bennett after he pushed Charlie Coyle before scoring the tying goal in the third period.

The Panthers eventually completed the two-goal rally to win 3-2, putting Boston on the brink of playoff elimination (Florida now leads the series 3-1). After the game, the main talking point was Bennet’s tying goal — which the Bruins challenged, but the call was upheld by officials.

While Bruins players questioned both the initial call and the reviewed decision, Panthers head coach Paul Maurice disagreed.

After the game, Maurice was asked if he was surprised the goal was allowed to stand after review.

“I will have an opinion, and it would be no,” Maurice replied, via NESN’s Gayle Troiani. “In that, it will have no impact on the play in the game. And then, the connection between the two, the contact between the two [players] is not egregious at all. And the play just gets finished more than anything else.”

Maurice continued, offering a slightly puzzling commentary on his perception of the media’s opinion of the matter.

“The only way that I was particularly concerned is like some of your foreheads right now,” Maurice said to the room of reporters.

“The people in the media doing that,” he added, referencing a furrowed brow. “Like you cannot believe.”

After his view was compared with the contrasting opinion of Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman, Maurice interrupted.

“Well, hey, let’s go with him. We’re good,” Maurice responded. “We’re in Boston. Stay with the Bruins, brother, I’m with you.”

“I’m from Brooklyn, man, I ain’t from Boston,” ESPN senior NHL writer Greg Wyshynski pointed out to Maurice.

Maurice wasn’t done on the subject, offering some additional media criticism.

“I think there’s been lots of energy with this, lots of coverage, and I think you’ve lost your minds on it, which is fine,” Maurice continued. “You have that right. We’ve been a very disciplined, very composed team. We have. Fortunately it’s been a good way. It’s gone unnoticed. We’re alright with that.”

Later in the press conference, he came back to his earlier exchange.

“I don’t mean to offend you anytime, but we don’t always share the same opinion about what happens on the ice,” Maurice said. “I am absolutely partisan, like 100 percent. Sometimes, I feel like you guys are, too. But clearly, like [you’re] from Brooklyn, why would you be?”

The Florida coach joked that a potential matchup with the Rangers in the following round might change the dynamic.

“If we are so fortunate to win the next game, we’re screwed in the Rangers series, right?”

Of course, the New York hometown fandom Maurice imagines coming up against might not be exactly what he thinks, as Wyshynski is actually Devils fan.

Trivia: The 1999 Stanley Cup Finals was decided on arguably one of the more controversial calls in NHL playoff history. The Dallas Stars won the championship with a triple-overtime goal in Game 6 to defeat the Buffalo Sabres, though the scorer appeared to have his skate in the crease. Which player was the scorer at the center of the controversy?

(Answer at the bottom.)

Hint: He is a Hall of Famer, and so is his father.

Scores and schedules:

The Bruins blew a 2-0 first period lead, eventually falling 3-2 to the Panthers on Sunday. Boston now trails Florida 3-1, and faces elimination heading into Game 5 on the road on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Also from Sunday, the Red Sox got a 3-2 win over the Nationals in Brayan Bello’s first start following his return from the 15-day injured list. The 24-year-old improved to 4-1 on the season, allowing two runs in five innings.

Tonight, the Celtics will be in Cleveland to face the Cavaliers in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals at 7 p.m.

Tomorrow, PWHL Boston will host its first ever playoff game, seeking to eliminate Montreal in the semifinal series. Boston, leading the best-of-five series 2-0, will get underway at the Tsongas Center at 7 p.m.

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On this day: In 2007, the Red Sox put together the Mother’s Day Miracle, rallying from a 5-0 deficit in the bottom of the ninth inning to defeat the Orioles 6-5.

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Trivia answer: Brett Hull

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