Game Seven.

Two words that seemed absolutely unthinkable just eight days ago. But here we are.

Through the first three games, Florida used its devastating forecheck and tight defensive gaps to force Edmonton into turnovers and effectively shut down the two best players in the game. The Panthers outscored the Oilers 11-4 in those games. Sergei Bobrovsky looked great, and even though Matthew Tkachuk was seemingly a no-show, Florida was on the verge of raising the Cup.

And then Connor McDavid took over the series.

In games four and six, the Oilers dominated with their speed. McDavid put up back-to-back four point games. Everything was going into the net, especially in game four. The Oilers got secondary scoring from players like Connor Brown, Warren Foegele, and Dylan Holloway. Along the way, McDavid set an NHL record for most assists in a single postseason. They outscored Florida 18-5.

From a 30,000-foot view, it’s not really a surprise that we are at game seven. These are two very good teams. Florida won the Atlantic Division this year and dispatched Tampa Bay, Boston, and the Rangers. After a miserable start, Edmonton made a coaching change, reeled off a 16-game winning streak, and finished second in the Pacific (only because Vancouver had such a big lead by January).

Sometimes, we forget that coaches are paid the big bucks because they make adjustments. Watch the Oilers get out of the defensive zone – quick passes and speed that Florida has not been able to counter. And even though Draisaitl has been held to only three assists in the Final, 29 is still a threat when he gets the puck.

Now it’s Paul Maurice’s turn to adjust. You could see his frustrations in game six and in the pressers. His affable and relaxed tone has become increasingly more serious and concerned. He moved Montour off of PP1 and put Ekman-Larsson there. He knows that the Panthers may be on the wrong end of history with a loss on Monday.

These teams will be ready. It will be electric.

The Cup will be awarded on Monday night.

Who will receive it: Connor McDavid or Sasha Barkov?

I can’t wait.

Written by:

You may have heard TJ on Out Of Bounds, The Prison Chronicles, MixTapes Podcast, or Break It Down Show, he lost a bet and is now stuck with us. TJ currently hails from Mira Loma, CA with his wife and their 6-year-old aspiring princess, along with two dogs.