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Video: Paul Maurice greets booing supporters
Credit: Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Paul Maurice is quite a character. He’s one of the funniest, most genuine coaches in the league.

In press conferences, he’s very entertaining. On several occasions during the 2023-2024 season, he’s made some pretty zany statements.

As a joke, he likes to say that his future free agents are bad teammates and bad players in general. He wants to discourage other teams from signing them on July 1.

Tonight, the former Winnipeg Jets coach is back in familiar, familiar territory: Canadian rinks in the playoffs.

In Manitoba, Maurice lived through the team’s heyday and knows just how passionate Canadian fans are, especially during the playoffs. Oilers fans reminded him that this is always the case on the heels of Canada’s first normal Stanley Cup game since 2011.

He was booed, but responded in the best possible way: by thanking the haters.

I did say “a normal game in Canada”, because of course Montreal hosted the Lightning in the 2021 final. And in 2020, Rogers Place hosted the Lightning-Stars final (to a sold-out empty house).

Tonight in Edmonton, a game that feels like a one-off, the atmosphere is insane. Before the national anthem, the crowd was chanting “let’s go Oilers!

And what about the atmosphere during the Canadian anthem?

Let’s hope people’s enthusiasm will help their favorites not end up 0-3 in the final series.

Enjoy the game, ladies and gentlemen!

Overtime

– Georges Laraque is here.

– Ah well.

– The time Guy Carbonneau ruined the Stanley Cup.

– Too bad Vincent won’t be playing tonight.

– The league’s youngest coach will have his work cut out for him.

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