Stanley Cup Finals Preview: Edmonton Oilers vs. Florida Panthers Game 4 | 06/15/2024

Photo via Sportsnet

I wonder if during practice, the players put on a famous speech scene from a sports movie to maybe pump them up a bit more.

After Game 2, Connor McDavid said, “I look forward to people doubting us again.” Then after Game 3, he looked more shocked in his presser about the situation the Edmonton Oilers find themselves in now. His Mark Messier impression might need finetuning. His feelings and optimism changed rather quickly. It’s not Stuart Skinner’s fault that he isn’t Sergei Bobrovsky, that’s just the biggest difference out of any other in this series. Bobrovsky is on the verge of finishing a Hall Of Fame postseason, the Conn Smythe trophy should’ve already been awarded after Game 3 ended. If either Game 1 or 3 weren’t stolen by him, we may at least have been down only 1 game heading into tonight. But Playoff Hockey doesn’t care about what-ifs. I only really blame Skinner for 2 goals against in Round 4, but the second year goalie is reminding us of growing pains at the wrong time of the year. At the same time, however, he doesn’t bear responsibility for the Oilers powerplay going 0/10 these past 3 games. The PP Merchants have gone ice cold.

Only four teams in NHL Playoff history have won a 7 game series after being down 3-0. The most recent out of them was 10 years ago. Only one of those four teams did it in the Stanley Cup Finals, over half a century ago. The Oilers just have to add themselves to that history, they have to be one of those teams. It’s all they can do now, nothing else is an option. If they can’t, it’d be nice to still win Game 4 and not have the Cup presentation at Rogers Place. The keys to the game are…

A Crack In The Wall?: One positive to take from Thursday night was scoring 3 goals on Bobrovsky. Albeit when the game was out of reach, but they didn’t give up. The 3 goals they scored weren’t from their stars, two of them were off an own deflection and a screen in front. If Edmonton can build off their almost third-period comeback, they may finally be able to buy some goals. The Top 6 needs to score with their backs against the wall, and everyone else needs to contribute again.

Death By 1000 Cuts: We haven’t heard that phrase in a while, and for good reason before now. Losing Game 3 is hard to swallow because it was a self-inflicting loss. Two of the first 3 goals Edmonton allowed were off of turnovers. On one of them, Skinner left his crease, and a lucky bounce came in front of a wide-open net. Worst of all, those errors came from star players and key players. Against opponents who forecheck as well as these ones, you can’t make awful mistakes so frequently and expect to always get away with it.

Remember Why You’re Here: Everyone counted them out on American Thanksgiving. Everyone counted them out after Game 5 of Round 2. Not many felt confident after Game 3 of Round 3, and everyone got nervous after the start of Game 4 in that same round. Our team didn’t come this far by accident; they’ve faced adversity all year long. This is just a new chapter in that story. It’s one of the oldest sports cliches, but take this one game at a time. It would be quite the storybook ending if they actually pulled off a series comeback.

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 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

Stephen Vani

Oilers fan in Toronto. Staying up past my bedtime for Western games since the mid 2000s.

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