Gameday: Another chance for Florida to decide the title

Florida is still in good shape

The Panthers are now officially resurrected for the Stanley Cup Finals. Saturday’s crushing defeat in the away bowl certainly brought the team back down to earth, but it’s good to stand on that surface. Florida is in even better shape. The opponent has their backs against the wall, not the leopards.

– We’re going back to Florida and we have a chance to win the Stanley Cup. “If someone had told us that we were going to go into a playoff game under these circumstances, I think that would have been OK with each of us,” wrote Florida forward Ivan Rodriguez, the leading scorer in the Stanley Cup Final. His NHL.com blog.

Naturally, the Panthers hope the return trip to Florida is the last flight of the season. Next time players want to fly for vacation. That schedule should take care of business Tuesday at home, where the Panthers have won 8 of their 11 spring playoff games.

– We go home in front of our incredible fans. “They’re really excited to see us and we’re really excited to play in front of them,” Florida Star forward Matthew Tkachuk said.

Tkachuk will have a great opportunity to add to that excitement by returning to the power base. The forward’s scoreless streak is already nine games long, having recorded just one assist in the last six games.

The overconfident Oilers are playing against the odds

The Stanley Cup Finals are tied at 12-12. The lack of wins is unfortunate for Edmonton. But now at least there’s hope, even if the Oilers’ championship feast next week is still slim. Only four times in NHL history has a team gone 0-3 in a playoff series.

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All those booms are not distant history. The Philadelphia Flyers (2010) and Los Angeles Kings (2014) did it in the last decade. Edmonton already took the first step toward that rare feat on Saturday.

– According to the probabilities, we will not win (the championship). But by Thanksgiving time in America (late November), the odds said we wouldn’t be in the playoffs. We’ve lost many times in these playoffs as well. We are at our best when our backs are against the wall. “We’re just thinking about winning a game,” Edmonton forward Zach Hyman, who leads the NHL playoff scoring market, insisted.

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