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Stanley Cup Finals: Game 6

June 21, 2024, 1:39 PM ET [51 Comments]
Matt Ross
Florida Panthers Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
After going up 3-0 in the series, we now find ourselves at 3-2, preparing to watch Game 6 tonight...

From the fan perspective, we have discussed what the Panthers need to do. I'm sure the Panthers know what they need to do.

The question now becomes: Can they do it? Or, perhaps, will they do it?

Just play that up-tempo, physically grinding game from start to finish.

Easier said than done.

If the Panthers are going to end this tonight - and bring the Cup home to South Florida - they will need to conquer their biggest opponent...themselves.

The once-confident team with a chip on its shoulder has found itself in doubt. Pressure from a speedy foe has caused a wave of uncharacteristic lapses in play, poor judgment, and a general panic throughout this lineup.

While they don't possess two of the best players in the world, as a whole, Florida is a better team than Edmonton (I'm obviously biased).

They have more depth, play a better system, have stronger defense/goaltending, etc...

Right now, the Oilers are taking Florida's old style of "run n' gun" and applying it to the Cats with success.

We know this style of play works - Florida did it for a long time. But it has it's flaws/risks, and the Panthers need to expose them We saw just that in the first three games when EDM was stretched themselves. They often got out of position defensively, which opened the door for a Panther to slot into a dangerous spot on the ice.

COUCH KEYS

Tonight's keys are pretty simple:

1. Start on time. Set the tone right off the bat. Bring the heavy forecheck and physicality. Dictate the pace the game will be played at and wear EDM down!

2. Use the crowd. Being on the road has it's pros/cons. A big hit and/or goal can do wonders to silence the crowd. Make it a library in Alberta tonight.

3. Stars need to shine. Tkachuk looked good on Tuesday. He has been quite up until then. We'll need him Benny, Barky, Reinhart, Rodrigues, etc., to shine tonight.

4. Get ugly. There's a big advantage in the psychological warfare department when you can throw an opponent off his game, whether through physicality, pesty behavior, or both. Per Litter Box Cats, it looks like Maurice has decided to add Cousins back into the lineup.

"Nick Cousins will join Kevin Stenlund and Ryan Lomberg on the fourth line. Oliver Ekman-Larsson will quarterback the first power-play unit. And Carter Verhaeghe and Evan Rodrigues will stay on the first and second lines, after being swapped during Tuesday’s game."


I like this move. Cousins, Lomberg, Tkachuk, and Benny need to rattle some cages tonight.

5. Traffic out front. Skinner has played well, but he needs to be tested WAY more. Game 5 saw a lot of shots go right into his chest. For some reason the Panthers have gotten away from crashing the net. Get bodies out front and make it miserable for him tonight.

6. Stay out of the box. This is self-explainitory.

7. Get the PP going. What was once a maddening issue with Florida, has cropped up yet again at the worst possible time. Putting OEL on the first PP unit is a great move. The guy has been awesome as of late and hopefully he can spark the man advantage for this group.

8. Get confident, stupid. The Panthers need to remember they are a very good team that is more than capable of winning this thing.


_____________________

Get it done. Go Panthers!
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