Saturday, June 15, 2024
Sportsbook Advisor

NHL Morning Skate: Stanley Cup Final Edition – June 8, 2024

* Before the puck drops for Game 1 of the 2024 Stanley Cup Final (8 p.m. ET on ABC, ESPN+, SN, TVAS and CBC; alt. cast for Deaf community on ESPN+ and Sportsnet+), the Panthers and Oilers each took to the podiums at Amerant Bank Arena for Media Day. Also coming out of Friday was an announcement that The Kid LAROI and DJ Khaled will perform outside the arena as part of the Stanley Cup Concert Series presented by BODYARMOR Sports Drink.

* The 2024 NHL Scouting Combine presented by adidas in Buffalo, N.Y., concludes Saturday with a full day of fitness testing. Macklin CelebriniArtyom LevshunovCayden LindstromZeev Buium and Zayne Parekh all participated in a press conference Friday on the eve of final testing.

* After eight of the top nine teams in the League advanced past the opening round and three of four division winners reached the Conference Finals, two teams remain in contention for the 2024 Stanley Cup: the Florida Panthers, the No. 1 seed in the Atlantic Division, and the Edmonton Oilers, who rose to No. 2 in the Pacific Division after being among the lowest-ranked teams in the League until December. Both clubs will try to end a 30-plus year wait for a Stanley Cup, with Game 1 tonight.

PANTHERS, OILERS SETTLE INTO SUNRISE FOR STANLEY CUP FINAL MEDIA DAY

The Panthers and Oilers each met with the media ahead of Game 1 of the 2024 Stanley Cup Final:

Ryan Nugent Hopkins enters the Final as the longest-serving Oilers player after the franchise selected the Burnaby, B.C., native with the No. 1 pick in the 2011 NHL Draft. The forward, with 6-14—20 in 18 games this postseason, netted his third career multi-goal playoff game during the last round – mere hours after teammate Leon Draisaitl joked that he was head coach Kris Knoblauch’s favorite player, a sentiment shared post-game by Stuart Skinner.

* High praise circulated discussions throughout media day as many Panthers players spoke to the play of 2023-24 Selke Trophy winner and captain Aleksander Barkov. The native of Tampere, Finland can become the first Finnish-born player in League history to captain a Stanley Cup-winning team. The only NHL players born and trained outside North America to do so are Gabriel Landeskog (2022 COL), Alex Ovechkin (2018 WSH), Zdeno Chara (2011 BOS) and Nicklas Lidstrom (2008 DET).


GAME 1 IS A BIG ONE IN THE STANLEY CUP FINAL

The final round of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs begins tonight when Connor McDavid leads the Oilers into their first Stanley Cup Final game since June 19, 2006, against Aleksander Barkov and the Panthers who will host Game 1 of the Final for the first time. It has been 34 years since Edmonton held a series lead in the Stanley Cup Final, while Florida seeks its first such advantage.

* Game 1 of the Final has been won by the home team in eight of the past 10 years. The exceptions in that time frame were in 2020 when Corey Perry and Mattias Janmark helped Dallas defeat Tampa Bay as the designated road team in the “bubble” at Rogers Place in Edmonton, along with 2015 when the Blackhawks traveled to Florida to skate away with the Final opener at Tampa.

* Claiming the opener often leads to lifting “Lord Stanley” as 76.2% of Game 1 winners in a best-of-seven Final have gone on to secure the Cup (64-20), including 83.6% who pull ahead 1-0 as the home team (51-10).

* The Panthers scored the first goal in Game 1 against the Golden Knights last year but lost in one of 41 comeback wins across the 105 Game 1s in Final history (39.0%). The 2023 opener also marked the sixth time in seven years that the championship series started with teams combining for six or more goals.

FLORIDA, EDMONTON LOOK FOR DIFFERENT FATE IN STANLEY CUP FINAL OPENER

A quick look back at each club’s most recent Stanley Cup Final Game 1:

* Florida fans likely recall that Game 1 of the 2023 Final turned when Vegas goaltender Adin Hill made a sprawling stop against Nick Cousins that mirrored “The Save” by Braden Holtby made in the same crease five years earlier. Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky made a memorable sprawling save of his own in the opening round of this year’s playoffs – a Game 2 stop against Tampa Bay that kept the score tied in an eventual overtime victory that allowed his club to take a 2-0 series lead.

* Edmonton’s last Game 1 in the Stanley Cup Final may also linger in the minds of Oilers fans as the team pulled ahead 3-0 – thanks in part to the only penalty-shot goal in Stanley Cup Final history – before falling 5-4. That was one of six three-goal comeback wins in any contest during the Final (also the most recent) and concluded with the sixth-latest go-ahead goal in regulation in the history of the championship series (Rod Brind’Amour at 19:28 of P3).

NHL TO PRODUCE ALT. CAST FOR DEAF COMMUNITY, PRE-GAME SHOWS ON YOUTUBE

In addition to airing on ABC, ESPN+, Sportsnet, CBC and TVA Sports, a first-of-its-kind alternate telecast dedicated to the Deaf community will be available for each game. In partnership with P-X-P, the League will produce “NHL in ASL” using American Sign Language for a telecast that will be made available to stream on ESPN+ in the U.S. and Sportsnet+ in Canada.

* During the first intermission of Game 1, the “NHL in ASL” telecast will include a visit from Linda Cundy, a Deaf Canadian and leader in the Canadian Deaf community who will also perform the national anthem in ASL at Games 3 and 4 in Edmonton. The guest during the second intermission will be Justin Loncar, a Deaf comic and influencer with over 333k followers on Instagram and 757k followers on TikTok.

* Before each game, Stanley Cup Live presented by New Amsterdam Vodka returns for a pre-game show on the NHL’s YouTube channel. Hosted by NHL alumnus Jason Demers and Alexa Landestoy of NHL Network, the show will go live at 6:30 p.m. ET in each host city, welcoming special guests and counting down to puck drop. The show also went live from Media Day, with appearances from Kyle Okposo (who shared a memory from the 1996 Final), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (speaking about support from Canada) and Phil Pritchard (who brought the Cup before hosting an AMA on reddit).

FINAL FEATURES VETERAN HEAD COACH MAURICE, ROOKIE BENCH BOSS KNOBLAUCH

The 2024 Stanley Cup Final pits Panthers head coach and 1,848-game veteran Paul Maurice against Oilers bench boss Kris Knoblauch, who has just 69 career contests after being hired by Edmonton in November. Their 1,779-game difference marks the most between head coaches in a Final, surpassing the previous high of 1,579 from when Maurice (562 GC) met Scotty Bowman (2,141 GC) during the 2002 championship series.

* Maurice would have the most games by a bench boss in NHL history at the time of his first championship, besting Barry Trotz (1,524 GC; 2018 WSH). Maurice made his head coaching debut as a 28-year-old and can become the fourth bench boss in League history with a Cup at age 57 or older, following Bowman (2002 DET1998 DET1997 DET & 1992 PIT), Dick Irvin (1953 MTL) and Bruce Cassidy (2023 VGK).

* Knoblauch can become the fifth head coach in the NHL’s expansion era (since 1967-68) with a championship in his first season, following Dan Bylsma (2009 PIT), Jean Perron (1986 MTL), Al MacNeil (1971 MTL) and Claude Ruel (1969 MTL). Knoblauch can also join Bylsma, MacNeil, Craig Berube (2019 STL), Mike Sullivan (2016 PIT), Darryl Sutter (2012 LAK) and Larry Robinson (2000 NJD) as the seventh bench boss in the expansion era to win a Cup with a franchise after taking over head coaching duties midseason.

WHO HAS THE EDGE? A SAMPLING OF NHL EDGE STATS AHEAD OF GAME 1

A look at some advanced stats via NHL.com/EDGE entering the Stanley Cup Final:


*  Zach Hyman (44) and Sam Reinhart (34) finished the regular season with the most and second-most goals, respectively, from the high-danger zone. Hyman has added another 10 such tallies during the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs, while Reinhart has recorded four.

Connor McDavid (23.85 mph) has reached the fastest max skating speed in the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs to date, during Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals against the Stars. Nathan MacKinnon (24.54 mph) has the fastest on record in the playoffs (since 2022), which came in Game 1 of the 2022 Second Round against the Blues.

* The Panthers have spent 43.6 percent of their time in the offensive zone this postseason, behind the Hurricanes (45.5 %) for the highest among all teams. The Oilers sit tied for fifth at 41.8 percent.

STANLEY CUP FINAL QUICK CLICKS

Oilers, Panthers have ingredients to provide epic Stanley Cup Final
*Stuart Skinner battled odds to help Oilers reach Stanley Cup Final

Matthew Tkachuk pulling for old high school classmate Tatum, Celtics in NBA Finals

*Jimmy Fallon roasts NHL photos on ‘Tonight Show’ ahead of Stanley Cup Final


NHL SCOUTING COMBINE CONCLUDES SATURDAY WITH FITNESS TESTING
Macklin Celebrini (No. 1-ranked North American skater) was one of five players who met with the media Friday before the 2024 NHL Scouting Combine presented by adidas concludes with fitness testing Saturday. After the players partook in a VO2 Max test on Friday, Celebrini, Artyom Levshunov (No. 2-ranked NA skater), Cayden Lindstrom (No. 3-ranked NA skater), Zeev Buium (No. 4-ranked NA skater) and Zayne Parekh (No. 5-ranked NA skater) were all part of a press conference on the eve of final fitness testing.


WEEKLY PODCAST ROUNDUP

NHL Backstory (6/4): Garden Party

NHL Fantasy on Ice (6/4): NHL | Action Network collaboration: Stanley Cup Final preview

La Tasse de Café LNH (6/4): Une finale de la Coupe Stanley entre les Panthers et les Oilers

NHL Draft Class (6/5): NHL Scouting Combine – PART I: Macklin Celebrini Chris Morehouse

NHL @TheRink (6/5): Ryan Callahan joins; Final preview, Joe Pavelski‘s legacy, Draft jockeying

The Chirp (6/5): Ray Ferraro joins; Stanley Cup Final storylines and preview

* NHL Draft Class (6/6): Combine – PART II: Cayden LindstromZeev Buium & Cole Eiserman

Mikey Balhan Sports

Related Articles

Jackery Solar Battery Portable Generator

Latest Articles

Sports Gaming Monitor