"Not sure I wanna answer that question": Paul Maurice's hilarious response to his preference between penalty shot and power play on Wheeler's penalty

NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets at Florida Panthers
Paul Maurice's hilarious response to his preference between penalty shot and power play on Wheeler's penalty

Florida Panthers coach Paul Maurice gave a humorous response when asked about his preference between a penalty shot and a power play after Blake Wheeler's penalty in Game 4 against the New York Rangers in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference final on Tuesday.

In overtime, Rangers' Mika Zibanejad made an errant pass to Wheeler that got intercepted by the Panthers in the neutral zone. Blake Wheeler accidentally hooked the Panthers' Aleksander Barkov in a break as Wheeler attempted to regain possession.

Initially, it seemed like there might be a penalty shot awarded, but instead, Wheeler ended up with a two-minute minor penalty for hooking Barkov. This gave the Panthers a power play opportunity, where Sam Reinhart scored the game-winning goal at 1:12 of overtime, securing a 3-2 win for Florida in Game 4.

In the post-game media interactions, when asked about his preference between a power play and a penalty shot, Paul Maurice humorously expressed uncertainty. He playfully remarked that if the Panthers hadn't scored, he would have gone with a penalty shot all day long instead of the power play.

He said (via Rangers Videos on X):

I'm not sure I want to answer that question. Our powerplay point percentage is both 33.3, which is exactly about seeing a bunch of breakaways not go in it," Pual Maurice said. "Maybe the truth is, I don't know if you asked me; I got to pick one."
"Which one I would pick if we hadn't scored, penalty shot all day long. That's just the truth. I don't know. Because it all went through my head."

Sam Reinhart has collected three points in the series against the Rangers so far. Overall, he has 12 points, accumulated through eight goals and four assists, in 15 post-season games.

Paul Maurice on Game 4 win against New York Rangers

Paul Maurice shared his thoughts on Game 4 and said both teams displayed hard work and a strong desire to win. Maurice noted that there was a sense of tension among his players in the first period.

However, as the game progressed, they started to play more freely with less pressure (via NHL.com):

“I thought we were tight. That’s the best way I can describe it," Florida coach Paul Maurice said of the first period. “Both teams want it so bad, they’ve invested so much hard work to get here. I just thought we were tight, and then after the first we just played. It wasn’t more coaching."
"I would say less. I don’t have a better explanation for it. I don’t think that I wind them up hard before a game, but you never know what your impact is. My conversation after the first was I thought we were tight, and we don’t play that way.”

Both Rangers and Panthers will look to regain a lead in the series when they meet at Madison Square Garden for Game 5 on Thursday.

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