Florida Panthers vs. Edmonton Oilers Game 7 Recap | 06/24/2024

The Florida Panthers celebrate winning their first ever Stanley Cup. Elsa/Getty Images

REDemption tour is officially complete. The Florida Panthers made history last night, winning their first-ever Stanley Cup, being the first team in the NHL with a Finnish-born captain to win, and setting the record for having the most Finnish players on a single roster at four. Game 7 was a textbook Florida game, low scoring and a hard grinding game with stout defense and a full team effort. This Cup Final Series has been a story of huge momentum swings and both teams looking down and out, only to come back stronger and better. The Panthers got the storybook ending; after falling short last year, they said they’d be back to win it all, and they made good on the promise. The team spent the last year training and grinding to return to the Cup Final. It was a long road back that wasn’t always easy, with them going through stretches of losses, but they always learned something that made them better. Bobrovsky had a stellar game after a couple of struggles in games 4-6, Verhaeghe and Reinhart put pucks past Skinner, and the strong Panther defense allowed them to defend their lead once they got it.

Bobrovsky Bounces Back:

Being a goalie is a thankless job; when the team doesn’t win, they’re usually the first ones to get blamed. Bobrovsky looked and played like he had for the previous three series and games 1-3 in Game 7. It wasn’t just Bob who struggled in games 4-6; the whole team struggled and gave the Oilers too much time and space to make plays. Bob opted not to skate during Sunday’s practice, instead choosing to rest, reset, and refocus. That decision paid off as he had an outstanding game with a .958 SV% and stopped 23 of 24 shots, the only goal he allowed was a breakaway chance for Edmonton that got flipped high over his blocker. Bob never gave up on a save and made some incredible plays to keep the puck out of the net. The most notable one was a shot in the third period that took a full team effort to break up but Bob’s glove kept the puck from entering the net and tying the game. Throughout the entire playoffs, Bob made incredible saves and frustrated opponents night in and night out, he only allowed more than three goals in six games, and for the majority of the games, opponents were held to three goals or less. The Oilers series was arguably his worst one, as he allowed 4+ goals in three straight games, but he also started out extremely strong. Bob only allowed four goals in the first three games with the Panthers winning Game 1 in a shutout fashion. In all the games the Panthers won, Bob only gave up five goals total, with Game 3 being the only game where the Oilers scored three goals but still lost the game. Bobrovsky was the backbone of the defense and he’s now being discussed to be a future first-ballot Hall of Famer.

Carter Verhaeghe and Sam Reinhart:

Big moments are where Verhaeghe and Reinhart shine the most. All playoffs this season and last year Verhaeghe has been the most clutch player for the Panthers as he thrives in high-pressure situations, Game 7 was no different. Verhaeghe had struggled a bit through the middle part of the series with the Oilers, but when Florida needed him most, he delivered, scoring the opening goal by tipping in a shot from Rodrigues that went through Skinner’s five-hole. In all but one game, whichever team had scored first ended up winning the game, so it was incredibly important for the Cats to strike first. The Panthers had had a habit of coming out slow in the first period and building as the game went on to play their best by the third period. That wasn’t a problem Monday night, the Panthers came out and played like their season was on line and got to their game quickly. While the Oilers tied it up on a breakaway a couple of minutes later, the tone of the game was a style Florida thrives in playing, and Edmonton struggled a bit more with. Things remained tied going into the second period and at the midway point of the match. A great save and defensive play from Bob and Mikkola set up a 3 2 rush chance that had Verhaeghe drawing the defenseman, which allowed Reinhart enough time and space to snipe a shot past Skinner on the glove side to break the tie for the 2-1 lead. Reinhart scored plenty of big goals during the regular season, where he set franchise records, but none will be bigger than the Stanley Cup game-winning goal. He might’ve cooled off on the power play once teams started really hounding him, but he made up for that by being able to score 5v5. The big players showed up in the biggest game of the season for the Panthers.

Full Team Effort:

No individual effort is enough to win the Stanley Cup it takes a full team. No one embodied that better than the Florida Panthers in Game 7. The team’s defense was at an all-time high, and if Bob was vulnerable, then the team stepped up to block shots or make defensive plays to prevent the shots from being taken. The importance of the Forsling-Ekblad tandem was paramount to the team’s success. Forsling had a breakout performance this playoffs with him finally getting the recognition he deserves. The pair were instrumental in shutting down top players from across the league. And those two paired with Barkov’s line was an absolute nightmare for opponents. The Cats blocked 17 shots to the Oilers’ 13, bodies were put on the line all over the ice to do whatever it took to win a single game to gain immortality; Florida also outhit Edmonton 28-19. The Panthers were better at winning board battles as well as running out the clock once they got the lead by engaging in more than one extended board battle. This was something the Cats had excelled at throughout the playoffs, and they did this exact strategy to run out of time in the final minute of the third period. The Cats left nothing on the table, with the whole team going at 110% effort from start to finish. The night was capped off with a heartwarming moment in the locker room where Barkov gave Head Coach Paul Maurice the final puck to put into the board, which he accidentally hit too hard and subsequently knocked 2/3rds of the pucks out of the board in the process. Immortality has been achieved for this group of Panthers; they were the best team in the NHL, and everyone else finally got to see that. The Panthers Championship Celebration has been scheduled for Sunday, June 30th, at 11 am in Fort Lauderdale.

We Got The Jack Inside The Rink

In episode 8 of the Inside The Rink podcast, Matty and Smitty are joined by new co-host Conrad Jack. After the long hiatus, we get back to hockey with a PACKED episode!Matt Rempe & the Devils vs. Rangers Line BrawlCould the Vancouver Canucks squander a playoff opportunity? Have the Winnipeg Jets finally figured out their lines?Flyers Head Coach John Tortorella is a sound byte MACHINEOvechkin is on his way to 895, Who is next?McDavid joins elite company with 100 Assists in a seasonRyan Hartman was suspended 3 Games, was it worth 3 games??Can Auston Matthews hit 70 Goals this season?The Eastern Conference Wild Card race is heating up, who lands the two playoff berths?For all of your hockey news and more from the show, visit us at insidetherink.com and watch us on YouTube! How to support us and our sponsors:TicketmasterColumbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITR
  1. We Got The Jack
  2. Episode 7. Player Safety First!
  3. Episode 6. Early Trade Season
  4. Episode 5. Longing For The Chiarelli Years
  5. Episode 4. Ottawa’s On Fire

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