PITTSBURGH — With Canes coach Paul Maurice, sometimes it's not so much what he says as how he says it.
After the Canes' 3-2 loss to the Penguins in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals, Maurice was asked about the injuries to Tuomo Ruutu and Erik Cole. Both had lower-body injuries, and Cole's came on a knee-to-knee hit from the Pens' Matt Cooke.
"On those two guys, I'll know tomorrow," he said. "I don't know much right now. We'll see how they wake up and how they feel."
On the surface, that sounds like Ruutu and Cole could be OK. And they may be. But there didn't seem to be much optimism in the tone of Maurice's voice.
Later in the postgame news conference, Maurice was talking about the flow of the game when he noted, "That was a completely different style of game than the last 14 that we just played.
"I mean, it went from Erik Cole going to the net, it would be, you know, they'd exchange 14 punches before they established net front position and tonight's game they were inteference penalties. So it was a little bit of an adjustment for us from what we've seen. So we'll have to make that adjustment."
Again, a simple statement about the game. Or was it a veiled comment on the referees' calls?
Not long after saying that, Maurice popped up and left the podium, the look of concern never leaving his face as he walked the hallway at Mellon Arena back to the locker room.