Florida Panthers head coach Andrew Brunette does not want to feed into any rumors involving his team and a strip club.
Two hosts of a Tampa Bay radio show were adamant that "a lot" of Panthers players were seen partying at a strip club as late as 3:00 a.m. on Monday morning after their Game 3 loss to the Lightning put them in a 3-0 series hole.
Brunette wanted to shoot down the accusation immediately.
“Those things, I guess, happen in our universe,” Brunette said. “Check your sources. That was not the case last night.”
Unfortunately for Brunette, some sources were double-checked and the report has been backed up by a different Florida radio personality.
“I checked with my strip club sources” is likely a phrase that no one has ever said before. The only picture that can pop into anyone’s head is an old-timey reporter with a press card in a fedora just enjoying the sights and sounds of a local establishment and taking several scratched-down notes on a minuscule notepad.
Whether or not some Panthers players were enjoying some local festivities before lacing up for an elimination game will have to remain a mystery, but maybe they were just preparing for their significant offseason with a team-building activity. After all, there are only four teams in NHL history to come back from a 3-0 series deficit in the playoffs: The 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs, 1975 New York Islanders, 2010 Philadelphia Flyers, and 2014 Los Angeles Kings.
No one can blame the Panthers for (allegedly) using their remaining time together wisely and enjoying each other’s company. Is it possible for them to come back? Yes. Is it very improbable after their first three performances against Tampa? Also yes.
The series will either end or continue after Game 4 on Monday night.
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