The Oilers to save Canada’s honor

The Oilers to save Canada’s honor
The Oilers to save Canada’s honor

FORT LAUDERDALE – The Edmonton Oilers have a unique opportunity to unite a country from coast to coast and excite the Canadian spirit of hockey fans, even in Quebec on this Saint-Jean-Baptiste evening.

The Connor McDavid gang only needs one last small victory against the Florida Panthers to become legendary. A match. A victory. To bring the Stanley Cup home after an interminable wait of 31 years and 15 days.

This would be a first since the Canadiens’ conquest on June 9, 1993, at the Montreal Forum.

“As a Canadian hockey fan, one of my earliest memories is dreaming of winning the Cup as a player,” recalled Toronto’s Zach Hyman, who was only a year old in 1993. “It’s part of of our culture and who we are. All young hockey fans dream of it growing up.

“I’m sure it would mean a lot to all Canadians, no matter if they’re an Oilers fan. With the way this series has gone, a lot of people believe in us and want to see a good ending to a good story. »

The good story is the one that Kris Knoblauch’s troupe has been writing for 10 days. Trailing 0-3 in the series, she signed three victories in a row to force this final match to be held. On Monday, they could become the second team to win the Cup after suffering three losses from the start.

The only time this happened was in 1942 when the Toronto Maple Leafs turned the tide against the Detroit Red Wings. The following year, Maurice Richard made his debut in the Habs uniform. It’s been a while.

“You have to prepare as usual,” McDavid said. This is no ordinary match. Everyone understands that. But we have to make it as ordinary as possible in our heads. We’ve done a good job of being at our best in big moments, and it won’t be any different this time. »

The Oilers have faced elimination five times in these playoffs, and have always responded with aplomb. They have won the last three games by a margin of 18-5 in terms of goals scored. The challenge, you guessed it, is imposing for the Panthers.

In search of the first championship in its history, in its 30th season of existence, the Florida team wants to forget everything that has happened in the last ten days and concentrate on the task at hand. She will have a fourth and final chance to close the books in front of her supporters.

If they want to find some solace, the home team is 12-5 in finals history. The one who scores the first goal has the same performance.

“You need to get off to a good start,” said Ryan Lomberg. People will be very noisy. It will be electric. This is a moment that our fans deserve. We’ll want to give them a good show. »

Coach Paul Maurice will make a minor change as Kyle Okposo will return to his place on the fourth line replacing Nick Cousins.

Here are three things to watch for in Game 7 of the final:

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