Oilers in big trouble after another loss in Stanley Cup Final | Offside (2024)

The Edmonton Oilers are heading back to Alberta down 2-0 in the Stanley Cup Final after a 4-1 loss to the Florida Panthers in Game 2.

It was a game that almost felt like the reverse of the opener with the Panthers controlling large chunks of the play. Yet, the result stayed the same as Edmonton blew an early 1-0 lead and allowed Niko Mikkola and Evan Rodrigues to lead the Panthers to victory.

“We gotta be better, we can be better for sure,” captain Connor McDavid said after the game. “I thought they went up a level and we didn’t match it today.”

Sergei Bobrovsky was good in the Florida net, but the Oilers only managed 19 shots on net.


— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) June 11, 2024

Stuart Skinner was far from Edmonton’s problem tonight, stopping 24 of the 27 shots he faced and keeping them in the game at times.

Kane and Nurse injured

For the first time all playoffs long, it looks like the injuries are starting to catch up with the Oilers.

Evander Kane has been dealing with something all postseason long and it appears to have only gotten worse in the Stanley Cup Final. He hasn’t been skating with the team and has avoided sitting down on the bench between shifts.

Edmonton was also knocked down to just five defencemen in Game 2 as Darnell Nurse stayed on the bench but played very little since the midway mark of the first period.

“Losing Darnell obviously wasn’t ideal,” Evan Bouchard said after the game. “He’s a big part of the backend. We gotta find a way to step up for him.”

EDM FLA G2. June 10, 2024. Darnell Nurse injury.

🎥: Sportsnet | NHL#LetsGoOilers | #TimeToHunt pic.twitter.com/muxahaZzIw

— Nation Network Media (@NationNMedia) June 11, 2024

These two injuries are no excuse as every single team, including the Panthers, is fighting through injuries. They need a much better effort in front of their hometown crowd if they want a chance to come back in this series.

Oilers hit offensive slump

The Oilers have entered their first major offensive slump of the postseason with just a single goal to show for in the first two games of the Stanley Cup Final.

Through six periods, Edmonton has only been able to beat Bobrovsky a single time and it was off a Mattias Ekholm shot on a 2-on-1 tonight. Not a single Oilers forward has gotten a goal in this series so far.

“They played better than we did,” Zach Hyman told reporters after the game. “We weren’t playing with enough pace… I think they were controlling the play for the majority of the game.”

For the first time in the 2024 #StanleyCup Playoffs Sergei Bobrovsky has been beaten five-hole. 🤯 pic.twitter.com/hvap2VyJYI

— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) June 11, 2024

Neither Leon Draisaitl nor Connor McDavid has been able to make their mark in this series and it’s a major reason why the team is looking up at a 2-0 series deficit heading back to Alberta. Those two will have to find a way to impact the scoresheet and they will have to do it quickly.

Power(less) play

You never want to solely rely on the power play to win hockey games, but right now the Oilers’ inability to find goals with man advantage may be losing them games.

It’s not for a lack of chances, though there were a few missed calls here and there tonight. Edmonton had four power plays tonight and was unable to convert on any of them. This brings their total up to a dismal 0/7 heading into Game 3.

“We gotta find a way to score,” Hyman put it bluntly when asked about the power play’s lack of success.

The penalty kill was mostly good until a third-period marker broke up their perfection streak at 34. It was Rodrigues getting his third goal of the series.

EVAN RODRIGUES DOUBLES DOWN ‼️ pic.twitter.com/EksLjQ0o4F

— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) June 11, 2024

They are getting their chances, but close doesn’t count in the Stanley Cup Final. It needs to find a way to break through on home ice.

The fate of the Oilers season could come down to a Game 3 at Rogers Place scheduled for this Thursday.

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Oilers in big trouble after another loss in Stanley Cup Final | Offside (2024)
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