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2024 Stanley Cup Final

No War of Words Between Florida Panthers and Edmonton Oilers



Florida panthers
The Florida Panthers play host to the Edmonton Oilers in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final tonight in Sunrise. // Photo @GeorgeRichards

It’s the biggest game in Florida Panthers history.

In prepping their teams, coaches often play mind games in addition to the on-ice drills.

With such a heavy media presence, coaches and players are cautious in what they say.

The last thing they would want on a day like today is to have their quotes posted on the opposition’s bulletin board.

The closest to braggadocio was Connor McDavid’s “drag them back to Alberta” comment.

Edmonton coach Kris Knoblauch told his troops before Game 4 and possible elimination that he’s looking forward to spending the next ten days together.

Those words were meant to motivate his team and not intimidate the opposition. 

It worked, at least for one night.

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Paul Maurice did not fan any flames by saying there is no such thing as being comfortable with a lead.

“You’re never in a comfortable position in the playoffs,” Maurice said. “You’ve earned your wins. You’ve earned your losses. Every playoff loss feels the same. Maybe other people get comfortable. I haven’t had that for 30 years. Which is good, right? You’ve just got to harness it.”

Knoblauch addressed the media this morning. 

He chose his words carefully when discussing tonight’s strategy, again complimenting the Panthers.

“Just play with composure,” Knoblauch said. “There’s going to be a lot of excitement in the building. They’ll obviouslywant to come out with a big statement, period. Right from the start, just because of the way Game 4 went and them obviously playing back to their identity. We have to be ready for that pressure…We have to be smart with our puck decisions.”

At yesterday’s Edmonton practice, Darnell Nurse indicated in no uncertain terms that Saturday’s one-sided victory was an anomaly and did not expect the scoring to continue at the same pace.

“With the playoffs, I think we’ve seen it time and time again that every time the puck drops in the next game it seems to reset everything,” he said. “You know it’s going to a big push here by the Panthers on home ice. For us, we’ve got to come out and have that same energy.”

Nurse seemed to go out of his way to praise Sergei Bobrovsky and his well-known ability to come back after a poor outing.

“He’s an elite goaltender,” Nurse said. “Obviously the first three games he was a really big difference maker. You expect that again tomorrow night. He’s going to come out and play hard and be someone on ice that we’re going to have to solve.”

This morning, Aaron Ekblad summed up the emotions of Game 5 succinctly and as good as anyone.

“Two good teams are playing hockey, and anything can happen on any given night,” Ekblad said. “At the end of the day, we’re sure to keep battling and try to find a way to win a game tonight. Not put too much pressure on ourselves.”

The Stanley Cup is in the house.

The Panthers do not want to be ‘dragged back to Alberta.’

More FHN Coverage of the Florida Panthers:

Panthers Lead Best of 7 Series 3-1
  • When: Tuesday, 8 p.m.
  • Where: Amerant Bank Arena, Sunrise
  • National TV: ABC
  • Streaming: ESPN+/Hulu
  • Radio: WQAM 560-AM; WPOW 96.5-FM2; WBZT 1230-AM (West Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); WCZR 101.7-FM (Treasure Coast); SiriusXM
  • Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932, NHL app
  • Local Betting Odds — Panthers Favored: Money Line (-145); Puck line (-1.5, +170); Over/Under 5.5 (-110/-120). Series Panthers -1100
  • Series Schedule, All Games 8 p.m. on ABC — Game 1: @Florida 3, Edmonton 0;Game 2: @Florida 4, Edmonton 1; Game 3: Florida 4, @Edmonton 3; Game 4: @Edmonton 8, Florida 1; Game 5: Edmonton at Florida, Tuesday; Game 6*: Florida at Edmonton, Friday; Game 7*:Edmonton at Florida, Monday June 24. (*) – If Necessary
  • How They Got Here — Florida: d. Tampa Bay 4-1, Boston 4-2, New York Rangers 4-2; Edmonton: d. Los Angeles 4-1, Vancouver 4-3, Dallas 4-2.
  • This Season (Florida Won 2-0) — At Florida: Panthers 5, Oilers 3 (Nov. 20). At Edmonton: Panthers 5, Oilers 2 (Dec. 17).
  • Last Season: Edmonton Won 2-0
  • All-time Regular Season Series: Oilers lead 23-16-0, 3 ties
  • Postseason History: First Meeting

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