Friday, July 19, 2024
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NHL Morning Skate: Stanley Cup Final Edition – June 21, 2024

Matthew Tkachuk and Connor McDavid have elevated their games during the Stanley Cup Final, including highlight-reel plays for their clubs in Game 5, and will look to put up big performances again Friday when they face off in Game 6 at 8 p.m. ET (ABC, ESPN+, SN, TVAS & CBC).

* The Panthers will look to capitalize on their third straight opportunity to capture their first Stanley Cup, with the help of Tkachuk and Aleksander Barkov who rank first and second in team scoring this postseason.

* McDavidlooks to build upon back-to-back four-point outings, while he and Evan Bouchard also aim to increase their totals in potential elimination contests and force “one more flight” back to Florida for Game 7.

* The latest #NHLStats Pack now is available, with a focus on the 2024 Upper Deck NHL Draft. Top-ranked North American skater Macklin Celebrini is anticipated to have his name called early in Round 1, which is one week away (June 28 at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN, ESPN+, SN & TVAS).

TKACHUK, McDAVID ELEVATING THEIR GAMES IN PURSUIT OF STANLEY CUP

With the help of big performances by star players Matthew Tkachuk and Connor McDavid, the Panthers and Oilers find themselves going head-to-head in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final tonight at 8 p.m. ET on ABC, ESPN+, Sportsnet, TVA Sports and CBC.

* Tkachuk’s prowess isn’t limited to the score sheet – he’s known to lay it on the line in big moments during the playoffs and that’s exactly what he did Tuesday when he made a desperate diving play to keep the puck out of Florida’s net with the goaltender pulled.
 


* Meanwhile, McDavid has pulled out all of the stops to keep his team’s championship aspirations alive – including various highlight-reel efforts. After posting four points in Game 5 (2-2—4) to send the series back home to Rogers Place, the Oilers captain told reporters that his club’s mentality heading into the game was to “drag them back to Alberta … Just make them go on one more plane ride, one more flight.”



WILL THE THIRD TIME BE THE CHARM FOR TKACHUK, BARKOV AND THE PANTHERS?

A third straight opportunity to a claim a championship has the Panthers looking to leave the ice at Rogers Place with the franchise’s first Stanley Cup and achieve a feat rarely accomplished by the opposition. Only one team other than the Oilers has won the Cup in Edmonton: Carter Verhaeghe and the state-rival Lightning skated around Rogers Place with the Cup after defeating the Stars in the 2020 neutral-site bubble.

Matthew Tkachuk (6-16—22) and Aleksander Barkov (7-14—21) rank first and second in team scoring this postseason and occupy those same positions on the franchise list for assists in one playoff year. Both are challenging for Tkachuk’s benchmark for points in one postseason (24 in 2023).

* Tkachuk and Barkov are two of 16 Panthers who have played in each of their seven potential series-clinching games so far this postseason. Any of the 16 who skate Friday will match the most potential series-clinching games played in one postseason among active players (for skaters and goaltenders).

* Tkachuk (1-6—7 in 7 GP) has established club benchmarks for most assists and points in potential series-clinching games in one playoff year. His seven points in those contests are tied with Evan Bouchard (0-7—7 in 3 GP) for the most in the NHL in 2024.

* Tkachuk’s two-point showing in Game 5 placed him into a tie with Verhaeghe for the most multi-point performances in potential series-clinchers in club history (4). Tkachuk is the only player with consecutive multi-point showings in potential clinching games within a series (Games 4-5 in 2024 R1).

“ONE MORE FLIGHT” MANTRA HELPING McDAVID, OILERS MAINTAIN FOCUS IN FINAL

Not only have the Oilers and Panthers taken “one more flight” back to Edmonton for Game 6, but Friday also presents an opportunity to add another leg to the Final as Connor McDavid and Evan Bouchard try to help Edmonton become the first team in nearly 80 years with three wins while facing elimination in the championship series.

* Eleven of McDavid’s League-leading 42 points this year have come in the Stanley Cup Final (3-8—11 in 5 GP), two back of the record for a single championship series (set by Wayne Gretzky in 1988, with his 3-10—13 including two assists recorded in the suspended contest).

* McDavid’s eight points over the past two games (3-5—8) are the most ever while facing elimination in a single Final. That places McDavid one shy of the NHL record for career points while facing elimination in the Final, trailing only Jean Beliveau (2-7—9 in 9 GP from 1954 to 1971) and Brian Propp (4-5—9 in 8 GP from 1980 to 1991) on that career list.

* McDavid has 11 points across four contests (3-8—11) while facing elimination this postseason – a total equaling he NHL record for most points in one playoff year.

* McDavid and Bouchard (1-8—9 in 4 GP) each have eightassists while facing elimination this postseason, tied for an NHL record alongside two others: Adam Fox (2-8—10 in 5 GP; 2022 w/ NYR) and Doug Gilmour (2-8—10 in 3 GP; 1993 w/ TOR). Bouchard and Fox are the only defensemen with at least nine points in that scenario in one playoff year.

* McDavid needs one point the rest of this series to tie Patrick Kane (2-7—9 in 2014 CF; 3 GP) for the most when facing elimination in any series. His five assists since Game 4 are tied for the most in that situation in the Final and two back of Kane’s benchmark for any round.


 

NHL EDGE UPDATE: ZONE TIME THROUGH FIVE GAMES IN THE STANLEY CUP FINAL

The Panthers twice fell behind by three goals in Game 5 despite spending nearly eight more minutes in Edmonton’s zone than the Oilers spent in Florida’s territory (total offensive zone time in Game 5: FLA – 28:48; EDM – 20:55). NHL EDGE data shows that Florida spent half of even strength playing time in the offensive zone in Game 5 (50.0%; 24:11 of 48:22), the highest share any club has had in the series. Through five games, each club has had an even-strength offensive zone time advantage in two contests.

HANAUMI, YINGST SET TO JOIN “NHL IN ASL” TELECAST FOR GAME 6 OF FINAL

The “NHL in ASL” telecast for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final is set to include ASL performer Leila Hanaumi (who was recently featured in Barbie with ASL) and advocate Melissa Yingst. The telecast will be made available to stream on ESPN+ in the U.S. and Sportsnet+ in Canada.


 

GET SET FOR THE 2024 UPPER DECK NHL DRAFT WITH 100 PROSPECT PROFILES

The latest #NHLStats Pack was published Thursday ahead of the 2024 Upper Deck NHL Draft, which one week from today will achieve a first when it takes to Sphere in Las Vegas for the first sports event and first live television broadcast from the world-famous venue. Click here to get all the storylines before the Sharks call out the No. 1 pick on June 28 in a Draft that is anticipated to include a bevy of NCAA and defensive representation in its early stages, along with players from around the world and with NHL bloodlines.

* In addition, a total of 100 prospect profiles are now available, including the top 60 North American skaters, 30 International skaters, as well as the top five of both the North American and International goaltenders from the final draft rankings. Click here for the 100 prospect profiles.

Zayne Parekh, the No. 5-ranked North American skater, is one of the 100 prospect profiles included. Parekh led CHL defensemen in goals (33) and points (96) in 2023-24. He also graduated high school two years early and has been taking courses at the University of Toronto since he was 15.

NEARLY 100 GIRLS & BOYS JOIN NHL & PWHL TO WATCH DISNEY PIXAR’S ‘INSIDE OUT 2’

At an exclusive screening of ‘Inside Out 2,’ the NHL Foundation and PWHL hosted nearly 100 girls and boys from five different hockey teams and NHL/NHLPA Learn to Play programs. The kids came together to celebrate hockey with Team USA Olympic gold medalist and NHL Foundation ambassador Haley Skarupa, who received a check for $75,000 from the Congressional Hockey Challenge charity. The funds will go toward the NHL Foundation’s Empowerment Grant Program for Girls Hockey.

QUICK CLICKS
 

#NHLStats: Live Updates – Thursday, June 20
Kings introduce new logo and branding heading into 2024-25

Nick Cousins to return to Panthers lineup for Game 6 of Stanley Cup Final
United States announces roster for 2024 World Junior Summer Showcase

Connor Brown emerging during Cup run with Connor McDavid, Oilers after adversity

World Elite Syndicate

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