2024 NHL Stanley Cup Finals: Feisty Florida Panthers Seek 21st Sweep in Cup History

2024 NHL Stanley Cup Finals, Game 4

The Florida Panthers and the Edmonton Oilers meet for Game 4 of the 2024 NHL Stanley Cup Finals this evening. Florida is looking for their first Stanley Cup in franchise history in their third attempt in the final round of Lord Stanley’s Tournament. 

On the other side of the puck are the Edmonton Oilers. The Oilers’ dynamic offense has been church-mouse quiet in the 2024 Finals. Connor McDavid has 3 assists on 4 Edmonton goals in the series. He needs some help from his hockey pals to send this game back towards South Beach. 

Florida Panthers Within Paws Length of First Stanley Cup

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Last night, the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks played spoiler, ruining the “Double Sweep” sports history moment by routing the Boston Celtics. The Florida Panthers hope to avoid a similar fate against the Edmonton Oilers tonight in Game 4 of the 2024 NHL Stanley Cup Finals. 

Florida has put on a defensive clinic in these Finals against Edmonton by limiting time and space and playing into the middle of the ice throughout the first three games.

Florida’s head coach Paul Maurice says the game plan is the same at the start of Game 4. “There’s nothing new to what we’re going to do. The puck’s going to drop, it’s going to be the exact same sport, so there’s nothing new here. The context is different.”

Of course, that mindset is a lot easier to adopt with a 3-0 series lead and a goaltender with a 95% save percentage in the final round. 

Oilers Focus on Next Game at 2024 NHL Stanley Cup Finals

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Staring in the face of a 3-0 series mountain to scale, the  Edmonton Oilers can only focus on the task at hand tonight. The immediate goal has to be to score more goals than Florida. Of course, that phrase is much easier to type on a keyboard than perform on the ice surface at Rogers Place

Edmonton forward Adam Henrique found himself in a similar situation twelve years ago, with New Jersey on the verge of elimination. A decade late with the Oilers in a sweep-able position, the veteran can lean on that prior experience. 

“It’s certainly a big hill to climb, but you don’t look at the whole picture. You look at taking those first couple steps, get that first one and go from there. It’s a challenge that we’re certainly up to.”

Henrique scored the game-winner to extend the series for the Devils who ultimately fell in six games. Can he do the same tonight forcing a Game 5 in South Florida next week? 

Barkov vs. Bobrovsky for Conn Smyth Trophy? 

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The Conn Smyth trophy is presented to the Most Valuable Player of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and not just the 2024 NHL Stanley Cup Finals. According to the NHL website, the leading candidates for the Florida Panthers are forward Aleksander Barkov and goalie Sergei Bobrovsky.

An argument can easily be made for either side of the debate. Barkov is a defensive wizard who is scoring at a point-per-game pace at the most important time of the year. Meanwhile, Bob has been brilliant all postseason in silencing the dynamic offenses from Tampa Bay, Boston, New York, and Edmonton.

If the Florida Panthers complete the 21st sweep in NHL history tonight in Edmonton, it will be fascinating to see which Panther player gets the two-trophy treatment tonight. 

About The Author

Christopher Babos is a genuine sports & entertainment journalist with diverse credentials in writing, broadcasting, and digital media. He can be located on X for real-time takes (@CBabosWrites). With various roles in the sports industry over two decades, Chris can speak with authority on the topics he covers.

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