In winner-take-all Game 7, Oilers look to win Canada's first Stanley Cup since 1993

Oilers can become first Canadian team in the 21st century to win the NHL's title

Published: June 24, 2024 2:36pm

The Stanley Cup will be hoisted Monday night, and the Edmonton Oilers can become the first Canada team to do so since the 1993 Montreal Canadiens.

“There has to be a curse,” TSN analyst Craig Button said of Canada’s drought prior to the 2023-24 season. “What else could explain it all?”

Canadian teams have lost in the finals six times since Montreal’s 1993 victory, despite four of the six losers pushing their series to seven games. The Oilers are hoping to end that losing streak Monday with a game seven win.

The 31-year drought is a tough one for Canadians to swallow. The country is dying to claim another title, no matter which team gets it done.

“All of Canada’s behind you. Let’s bring the Cup home.” Canadian Prime Minister and Ottawa native Justin Trudeau posted on X before game one.

The Florida Panthers are the team standing in their way. The 2023 runners-up jumped out to a commanding series lead, winning the first three games against Edmonton behind stellar goaltending from Vezina Trophy finalist Sergei Bobrovsky.

“I'm looking forward to people doubting us again,” Oilers captain Connor McDavid said after his team’s 4-1 loss in game two.

“We're good with our backs against the wall,” he said. “It's supposed to be hard, it's supposed to be difficult. I'm excited to see what our group is made of.”

Doubt people did.

McDavid’s Oilers fell down 3-0 in the series after a 4-3 loss on home ice in game three. 

That’s when everything clicked for Edmonton.

The Oilers rattled off three straight wins, forcing the decisive, winner-take-all seventh game.

Should the Oilers win, they would become only the second team to “reverse sweep” their opponent in the finals. The only team to complete the improbable comeback was the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs, who claimed the Stanley Cup in seven games after dropping their first three games against the Detroit Red Wings.

But the big stage does not deter players from either side. It’s all smiles for game seven.

Oilers goalie Stuart Skinner said, “I'm going to keep on smiling and have some fun.”

Panthers forward Kyle Okposo agreed. 

“You've got to embrace it. You've got to just smile and enjoy it,” he said after finding out that he would be in Florida’s lineup.

This marks the first finals series to reach game seven since 2019 when the St. Louis Blues defeated the Boston Bruins to win their first championship in franchise history.

Puck drop is at 8 p.m. ET, will be broadcast on ABC and can be streamed on ESPN+

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