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2024 Stanley Cup Final

Wide Right: Edmonton Coach Compares Florida Panthers to Buffalo Bills



Florida panthers
Edmonton coach Kris Knoblauch, top, looks on during the third period in Game 1 against the Dallas Stars on May 23. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

When asked how much importance he put on the Florida Panthers having recent experience of playing in the Stanley Cup Final, Edmonton Oilers coach Kris Knoblauch compared them to a team that famously could not seal the deal.

Yes, the Buffalo Bills.

For those who do not know their football history, Jim Kelly & Co. went to the Super Bowl four straight times — twice at the direct expense of Dan Marino’s Dolphins — but lost them all.

The Panthers are in the Stanley Cup Final for the second straight year and are the third team since 1984 to lose in the Final and return the next year.

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Both Edmonton (1984) and Pittsburgh (2009) won in their second shot at the Cup.

Do not tell Knoblauch — although we’re guessing he knows that already.

“Yeah, experience is good,’’ Knoblauch said when asked about Florida having been in the Final oh-s0-recently.

“I don’t know how much experience is beneficial. You can ask the Buffalo Bills how important Super Bowl experience is. But, I think the most important thing is just having confidence in playing. When our guys are playing their best, they should have a lot of confidence.’’

The Panthers, for the most part, think going through what they went through to get to the Final both last year and in this one — plus what they took out of playing Vegas last summer — will help them prepare for what is next.

“Last year, we just rode that high all the way to the Finals,’’ Matthew Tkachuk said. “It is a very even-keel, chill approach. Guys are coming to work every day, working as hard as they can and expecting that from the next guy.

“Everyone has bought in. We’re taking it day-by-day and trying to take care of your day. We’re doing that really well right now.’’

For More FHN Coverage of the Florida Panthers:

  • When: Saturday, 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
  • Series Schedule, All Games 8 p.m. on ABC — Game 1:Edmonton at Florida, Saturday; Game 2: Edmonton at Florida, Monday June 10; Game 3: Florida at Edmonton, Thursday June 13; Game 4: Florida at Edmonton, Saturday June 15; Game 5*: Edmonton at Florida, Tuesday June 18; Game 6*: Florida at Edmonton, Friday June 21; 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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Duke del Valle

Panthers were decimated by injuries by the time the Finals rolled around last year. Not this time. Go Cats.

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