‘Poor Jake’: Panthers coach reacts to fine assessed to Rangers captain for elbowing penalty

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Washington Capitals at New York Rangers
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Jacob Trouba is a little lighter in the wallet, but will be available to play for the New York Rangers in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Florida Panthers on Tuesday. The Rangers captain was fined $5,000, the maximum allowable under CBA guidelines, but not suspended for an elbowing penalty in New York’s thrilling 5-4 overtime win in Game 3 on Sunday.

Paul Maurice, Trouba’s former coach with the Winnipeg Jets and currently the bench boss of the Panthers, had a sarcastic reply when asked about the fine.

“Take the hat, pass it around. Poor lad. Poor Jake. He won’t be able to eat”

Trouba is currently in season six of a seven-year contract that has an average annual value of $8 million.

So, yes, Trouba will still be able to eat. And play in Game 4.

The NHL Department of Player Safety did not deem his elbowing penalty worthy of a hearing hearing nor suspension.

Trouba leaned in and caught Florida forward Evan Rodrigues with his elbow late in the second period with the Rangers leading 3-2. Rodrigues was driving to the net on a delayed penalty against, ironically, Trouba for slashing.

After a video review, it was determined that a major penalty was not warranted. Trouba received a pair of minors but the Rangers killed off the four-minute disadvantage, and upped their lead to 4-2 in that span when Barclay Goodrow scored a shorthanded goal.

Rodrigues avoided injury. The forward was down on the ice for a stretch, headed to the locker room, but returned for the third period.

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NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-New York Rangers at Carolina Hurricanes
Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Trouba was a big presence in the game Sunday. He had nine blocked shots, two assists and logged 23:05 in ice time. He also had three minor penalties, including one late in the third period when the score was tied 4-4, that New York killed off.

The veteran defenseman has one goal and six assists in 13 postseason games. He leads New York with 20 penalty minutes in the playoffs and has a team-high 48 hits and 63 blocked shots.

After the game Sunday, Maurice provided another quip when asked about Trouba’s hit on Rodrigues.

“I think I’ve got enough on my plate. I’m not going to do any refereeing or player safety tonight. I’ll just stick with the coaching,” he said.

The Panthers coach is right about that. Florida has lost two straight games in overtime and, arguably, lost a game they should have won Sunday. If they lose at home Tuesday, the Panthers will be on the verge of playoff elimination, one year after playing in the Stanley Cup Final.

Conversely, a Rangers win Tuesday would put Trouba and Co. one win from their first appearance in the Cup Final since 2014.

And it would’ve been more difficult for the Rangers to get to that point Tuesday if Trouba was suspended, as he was earlier this season for elbowing Vegas Golden Knights forward Pavel Dorofeyev.

Jim Cerny is Executive Editor at Forever Blueshirts and Managing Editor at Sportsnaut, with more than 30 years of... More about Jim Cerny

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