Stanley Cup Finals Preview: Edmonton Oilers vs. Florida Panthers Game 7 | 06/24/2024

Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

“Well, well, well. How the turntables” – Michael Scott

It’s surreal how much can change within a week. I try to come across as being on the more optimistic side with some of my Hockey takes, but even I wouldn’t have expected this after how the series started. I felt the Edmonton Oilers would at least win Game 4 and not suffer a series sweep. But forcing Game 7? After going down 3-0? Unreal. Leon Draisaitl got things started with a nifty assist on the first goal of Game 6 in the first period. He’s been hard on himself when talking about his lack of production in this Cup Final. He said he needed to get into the series, and he did. 

Related Post: Updates On Edmonton Oilers Ahead of Game 7

The more games this team plays, the less fears they have. Take a penalty? No problem. Have to hold a lead? No problem. Stuart Skinner keeps getting better as the series progresses, and is totally relaxed; just bobbing his head to the music playing in the arena. I know their regular season comeback made them more confident and resilient, but this destiny team run they’re on is literally what you’d see in a Hollywood movie. It has been the entire 2023/2024 season in a nutshell.

But imagine if the goal that Florida scored to cut the 2 goal lead in half wasn’t called back for offside. What if Kris Knoblauch’s coach’s challenge backfired? He robbed them of a possible momentum swing.

I said in my Game 4 preview that only one team in NHL history has won the Stanley Cup after being down 3-0 in the Cup Final, that was in 1942. In 1945, another team came back from 3-0 down in the Final but lost Game 7. From a viewer’s perspective, momentum should heavily favour Edmonton tonight. But nothing is guaranteed, still. Will the Florida Panthers celebrate their first ever Stanley Cup victory, or will the Edmonton Oilers complete a historic comeback for the ages? Will the Stanley Cup be coming back to Canada for the first time since 1993? The keys to the game are…

Big Game Players: The assist on the first Oilers goal on Friday night was Draisaitl’s only point in the game. Both Connor McDavid and Evan Bouchard didn’t get a single point. Edmonton scored 5 goals mostly without their top 3 players. It was the definition of a team win. With their depth giving their fair share of contributions, imagine if those 3 randomly decided to just go off tonight on the biggest stage of their lives. I have a little snippet of Oilers trivia for you. It was 13 years ago today that Edmonton drafted Ryan Nugent-Hopkins First Overall. Here he is now, too. 

Put It Away: Every nonbiased fan should agree that officiating has varied from questionable and bad for both teams. There was debate on whether or not Draisaitl sold his fall a little bit, leading to an Oilers powerplay in the third period. Regardless, they didn’t capitalize. They also had that predicament in Game 5, when they could’ve regained a multi-goal lead with the man advantage late in that third period and failed to convert. If you’re at a point where you can taste what’s at the end, the killer instinct needs to be drilled into their play in the moment. 

Breathe: You talk about being stressed out as a fan, I can never imagine how the players themselves block out the nerves for a game like this. Especially with so many headlines swirling around this Final game. A part of me expects the first couple of shifts on either team to be filled with jitters before we see the real consistent action take place. I advise fans to take deep breaths, too. Of course, we want our team to win, but it’s hard to be angry with them after how this season unfolded. Whatever the final outcome is, we have so much to be proud of. 

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

Stephen Vani

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

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