Can Edmonton Oilers Repeat Their Game 4 Success Back in Florida?

The Stanley Cup Final is heading to a Game 5 as the Edmonton Oilers defeated the Florida Panthers in Game 4 by a score of 8-1. Connor McDavid led the way for the Oilers with three assists. McDavid now has 32 assists in the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs as he broke Wayne Gretzky‘s playoff assist record of 31 for the most assists in the playoffs.

McDavid was showing his full rage of skills on the ice. Since the Western Conference Final, McDavid has been the best player for the Edmonton Oilers. As he did in Game 6 against Dallas, McDavid put the Oilers on his back in Game 4, and he finally broke through.

Stuart Skinner is Rising Up for the Edmonton Oilers

As TSN Hockey Analyst Martin Biron stated on SportsCenter with Jay Onrait, he was impressed by the way McDavid was able to break through on Sergei Bobrovsky, but there were signs in the previous three games.

“But you know what I mean: secondary scoring is important, right? And it’s nice, but it’s about Connor McDavid and his production and putting the team on his back and look when he scored that goal that was such a great sign for me because in Game 3, when you look at Connor McDavid, he had a few great opportunities and he kept hitting Bobrovsky right in the chest right in the slot. Boom, it hits Bobrovsky, and he didn’t even go down, and he made a save backdoor blade hits Bobrovsky. So now in Game 4, he that beautiful shot from a little farther out, off the post and in, and this is the first time I could see wow, McDavid was able to beat the goalie clean in the playoffs.”

Florida Panthers Showing Why Playing Defense Still Matters

Besides McDavid, the Edmonton Oilers were clicking on all cylinders. Offensively, the Oilers were electric, getting production up and down their lineup, including two special teams goals: one shorthanded to open the game and a power play goal. And the power play goal is huge for the Oilers. Instead of 0-16 in the series, they are 1-15, which has to give the Oilers confidence heading into Game 5.

Not to mention, the Edmonton Oilers got back to playing defense. This same level of defense led to multiple win streaks of seven plus during the season as Biron continued.

“Well, we all know that the Oilers can win high-scoring games, but it hasn’t been the case in the playoffs when given up three or more, they’re 3-9, so it’s not really anywhere close to what the success they’d want to have. So, first of all, it’s Stuart Skinner, right? He made a couple of really big saves at key moments, even though it was 8-1 when it was 2-1 when he made that save on Carter Verheaghe that is so important.

You know I felt like the Oilers handled the forecheck of the Florida Panthers a lot better all these stretch passes it slowed down the forecheck. It put a lot more space between the forwards and the D so that was important. Great support, great back check. But we all know Stuart Skinner can get hot. The Oilers can get hot defensively. It’s great to score goals. But this season, that 16-game winning streak, the Oilers had to give up three goals in game one of the streak and three goals in game two, and then they went 14 straight giving up four or less. That’s how you win games if you’re the Oilers.

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I know you got McDavid, Draisaitl, and Hyman over 50 goals and everything, but it’s about playing well defensively and giving some support to Stuart Skinner, who was great in Game 4.

And now you don’t need to win 14 in a row. You have to win three in a row. You got one you have to win three in a row. Just get one win and then bring it home to Edmonton for Game 6. That’s really the key, but they can get out defensively as well.”

There is a belief in the locker room. As Connor McDavid stated after Game 4, the Edmonton Oilers are returning to Alberta regardless, so they want to bring the Florida Panthers.

If the Oilers play like they did in Game 4, they might.