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Stanley Cup Finals: Game 2

June 10, 2024, 2:53 PM ET [47 Comments]
Matt Ross
Florida Panthers Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
One down, three to go…

While I know Edmonton is a skilled team, I was not expecting the sustained quickness/pressure of Game 1. I don’t think Florida was either.

The Panthers undoubtedly had a bit of rust on them, and it looked like EDM’s game plan was to use their speed (which they have a lot of) to get FLA on their heels and keep them there.

It worked. But to the dismay of Oilers fans (and anyone watching that game), the Panthers walked away with the W.

Let’s not kid ourselves, Game 1 was won by Bob. Without him standing tall, the Cats don’t come away with that win. Props to Bennett getting after it as well.

I’m not discounting the goals scored by Florida (excluding the empty netter). They were solid. It’s just that Edmonton was the better team through 60 minutes.

Bob has been fantastic all playoffs. We know that. His heroics in Game 1 were a great example of the level of play he has stepped up to. However, going forward the Panthers will need to be better. It’s clear that Edmonton is more than capable of sustaining pressure and putting themselves in position for dangerous opportunities.

In many ways, Edmonton used Florida’s blueprint – especially with the heavy forecheck – and applied it against them.

The Panthers then executed the old “bend don’t break” approach and it worked for them.

Mark Messier made an interesting point between periods. He said that this time of year, it’s not what you give, it’s what you give up. Edmonton made a mistake on the second goal when both defensemen went to play the puck down low, leaving Rodrigues open out front to bury the one-timer.

I expect more of the same from the Oilers tonight, but even more ramped up. On the opposite end of the ice, I see the Panthers coming out just as hard and fast. They shook the rust off in Game 1 and should now be up to speed and ready to go.

TONIGHT

My keys to tonight are simple:

1. Bring the game to EDM. Set or match their pace. Wear them down through condition and physicality.

2. STAY OUT OF THE BOX. This Oilers PP is the best in the playoffs and it’s only a matter of time before they find the twine. Same goes for 5-on-5...

3. Do not rely on Bob to consistently bail you out. I know your best player must be your goalie in the playoffs, and nothing wrong with having the confidence of him back there. But give him support. EDM had a ton of huge chances in Game 1 that Bob bailed Florida out of. Make his night a little “easier” in Game 2.

4. Contain McDavid/Draistl (obviously)


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Let's be better tonight...Go Panthers!
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