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NHL playoffs: A long beneficial rest, but a trap to avoid for the Florida Panthers

When the Florida Panthers hit the rink next Saturday for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals, 10 days will have passed since their last game.

Scanning requires, the Panthers will have benefited from a long rest before attacking the final series. Still uncertain about their next opponents, the Panthers are trying as best they can to maintain their cruising speed to be ready to attack the most important series of games of their season.

Asked about the negative impact such a long break could have, head coach Paul Maurice recalled that sometimes it is better to appreciate what fate has in store, rather than hoping for a specific scenario.

“None of the things that we would normally want to have happened for us. In the end, the course was good for us anyway. You have to be careful what you wish for, so you don’t wish yourself anything and you take things as they are. “

“The positive thing for us is that we have players who are healing. The match that ended in 4e overtime cost both teams dearly. I don’t think we recover from that until the end of the series. “

After 16 games in the playoffs, including one that ended in the fourth period of overtime, this rest time is certainly welcome for the Panthers. It remains a double-edged sword all the same and Maurice has implemented a plan to prevent his team from falling into the trap.

“Time is a big challenge for us. We have a lot of rest and we have to find a way to stay in the best shape, but I’m taking the break despite worrying about our physical condition for Game 1,” admitted Maurice.

“How well are the players recovering? It’s relative, but certainly more than if we didn’t have the break of several days. A recovery is a better term than a rest. We want to be actively involved in this recovery. At this point, I believe that being on the ice too often can further harm the condition of the group. We want to be intense and excited on the rink and recover in our days off the next day. We want to keep the mental excitement of being on the ice. “

A veteran coach who now has 25 seasons behind an NHL bench, Maurice inspires confidence in his group thanks to the impressive wealth of experience he brings.

“I think Paul has a lot of experience, so when he says something or asks us to do something, we know we can trust him,” veteran defender Marc Staal said. He knows what he is talking about. I believe that from September to today, he conditioned us to play the way he wanted to. We’re at a point where everyone is comfortable with what they’re asking of us. We’re starting to see the results, it’s fun. “

For now, the Panthers do not know which of the Dallas Stars or Vegas Golden Knights will join them in the Finals. Vegas seemed in full control of its streak, but back-to-back losses seem to have increased the odds of the Stars pulling off the improbable. Whether it’s the Stars or the Golden Knights, Staal assures the Panthers will be ready to attack the final series of their playoff run in the best possible way.

“It will be Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals. There will be excitement and nervousness. We may be rusty in some aspects, but we will be well prepared to play. The opponent does not change much, we will play on Saturday. We are excited, whether it is to face the Stars or the Golden Knights. “

“We beat the Hurricanes and it’s an incredible feeling to play in the Stanley Cup Final. We enjoyed it for a few days, but now we are focused on our task. There is a lot of work to do and we are not satisfied. We are going to the final to win,” concluded Staal.

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