2024 Stanley Cup Final Game 7 Preview

10 days ago, it seemed to be over. The Florida Panthers beat the Edmonton Oilers in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final 4-3 to go up 3-0 in the best of seven. The Oilers’ Connor McDavid had yet to score a goal in the series.

The Florida Panthers were well on their way to winning the Stanley Cup.

Game 4 saw an Edmonton barrage, scoring eight goals in a trouncing of Florida.

Game 5 saw the three-time MVP in Connor McDavid score four points in a gutsy Oiler win.

Game 6 saw a crucial successful coach’s challenge change the entire nature of the game and force game 7.

The Oilers are the first team to force a Game 7 in the Stanley Cup Final after being down 3-0 in a series since the 1945 Detroit Red Wings rallied only to lose to Toronto in Game 7.

Incidentally the Red Wings three years earlier in 1942 were on the wrong end of a 3-0 comeback against the same Maple Leafs. The 1942 Maple Leafs are the only professional sports team to win a championship best of seven down 3-0 in a series. The Oilers hope to join the densely populated category that has seen only four teams make such a comeback to win a series.

Outside of the 1942 Leafs, the 1975 New York Islanders rallied to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins, the 2010 Philadelphia Flyers came back 3-0 in the series and 3-0 in game 7 to stun Boston, and the 2014 LA Kings stormed back to beat the San Jose Sharks on their way to a Stanley Cup title.

Game 7 experience is critical, the Panthers saw their share of Game 7 experience last season in what many may say was the birth of their status as a contender, when they upset the 65-win Boston Bruins in overtime with the game 7 winning overtime goal scored by Carter Verhaeghe.

This year, the Oilers faced elimination against the Vancouver Canucks in the second round, coming back by winning game 6 in a rout 5-1, and hanging on to win game 7, 3-2.

The Panthers are 2-1 all time in Game 7’s. In 1996, Florida rallied down down 3-2 in the Eastern Conference Final to beat Pittsburgh 3-1 in the decisive Game 7. In 2012, the New Jersey Devils, broke Florida hearts in Sunrise with two overtime wins in Games 6 & 7. The game 7 overtime winner was scored by current Edmonton Oiler Adam Henrique. 2023 Game 7 against Boston is the residual memory from seventh heaven, but can they divert from their losing path on Monday?

The Oilers are 8-4 all time in Game 7’s. Most recently their second round series win against Vancouver. This generation of Oilers also saw a Game 7 win against the LA Kings in 2022. But with a proud storied legacy in the postseason, the Oilers history in the seventh game can be traced back to 1984, a series win against provincial rival Calgary en route to their first Stanley Cup. Or two years later against the same Calgary Flames when Steve Smith of the Oilers scored the series winning goal, on his own net. Smith would find his redemption the next season in the Stanley Cup Final in Game 7 against the Philadelphia Flyers. After the Oilers had won the game 3-1, captain Wayne Gretzky gave the Stanley Cup first to Smith. In 1997, Todd Marchant scored the overtime winning goal to knock out the Dallas Stars in Game 7.

However, the most notable Game 7 in recent history for the Oilers came in 2006. An Edmonton that sneaked in as the last seed in the playoffs. The Oilers miraculously made it to the Stanley Cup Final, pinned against the Carolina Hurricanes. Carolina led the series 3-1 before a shorthanded game 5 overtime goal by Fernando Pisani kept the Oilers alive. After a rout in Game 6, the Hurricanes won Game 7 by the count of 3-1.

Pick: Oilers 4 Panthers 1 Goal scorers: EDM: McDavid (2), Hyman, Foegele, Janmark FLA: Verhaeghe

Look for Edmonton to break the game open in the second period. The Panthers will need more than Aleksander Barkov playing at a high level to win the Panthers the cup. For the Oilers, goaltender Stuart Skinner has played at an elite caliber late in series throughout the postseason, a trend that does not seem to change. Expect the most talented player in the game in Connor McDavid shine in pursuit to inscribe his name on Lord Stanley’s Cup.

Game 7’s are a matter of expecting anything, depth skaters scoring big goals or stars shining in the brightest moment. Tomorrow’s game 7 with a Stanley Cup on the line will bring the finest of sports on full display.

Will the Oilers overcome a deficit that seemed insurmountable by subsequently ending a Cup curse for the True North strong and free that has existed since 1993. Or will the team that began playing in 1993 win their first title?

One team will etch their name in immortality as Stanley Cup Champion Monday night, an epic night is promised regardless the outcome.


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