SCF Shifts To Florida For Another Elimination Game For Edmonton

The Oilers hit the road to face the Panthers in Fort Lauderdale Tuesday June 18th at 8PM ET
2024 Stanley Cup Final - Game Four
2024 Stanley Cup Final - Game Four / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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The Panthers are an excellent team who are very unlikely to repeat that performance. They will be hungry, and motivated to undo the embarrassing effort and result, and even more importantly end this series on home ice and hoist the cup in front of their fans. So, the keys to victory for Edmonton in my evaluation are as follows:

Quick Start

It's an ages-old cliche, and rather obvious I admit, but it's just simply not an option now to allow Florida to get a lead and to have to chase the game. This lineup needs to find their game early and put the Panthers at odds with their own philosophy as they did in game 4.

Zach Hyman Needs To Show Up

Zach Hyman has not by any means played poorly and had two helpers in their victory, but the league's top goal scorer these playoffs by a substantial margin has yet to score a goal in this series and the Oilers are going to need it tomorrow night more than ever.

Limit Defensive Mistakes

Cody Ceci, Darnell Nurse, and Evan Bouchard have notorious bad habits in their own zone that have consistently cost these Oilers wins and in my evaluation is a major reason for Jack Campbell's struggles as an Oiler. Bouchard is a lethal 5-on-5 offensive threat therefore we're all willing to consume a little of the bad to go along with the good. But, he has to be better. After having a totally dominant first three rounds, he looks to have run out of gas and frequently mismanages the puck ie. the fumble at the blue line on the 4on4 in game 3. As for Nurse and Ceci, well, unfortunately, we all know too well that they can lack situational awareness at times to put it nicely and the Oilers cannot afford any more of those gaffes.

Oilers must be careful as Canadiens linked to Dylan Holloway. dark. Next. Oilers must be careful as Canadiens linked to Dylan Holloway

Bottom line as we all know, it's gut check time and I believe these Oilers will produce an effort commensurate to their situation. There won't be an Al Pacino-esque speech in the locker room prior to the game from Kris Knoblauch. It will be another work day for this group, much like they have taken a small sample size approach all year to dig themselves out of their early-season hole.

One period at time.