avatar Written by Graeme & Scott on Wednesday, June 5th, 2024

The 2024 Stanley Cup Finals begin on Saturday, June 8th 2024.

The Florida Panthers have home ice advantage as they host the Edmonton Oilers.

To get here, the Panthers first beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-1 in domination. They also got by the Boston Bruins 4-2 without too much trouble. Then they did a fantastic job to stifle the Rangers offense, and win 4-2 in that series as well.

Similar results from Edmonton, who blasted the LA Kings 4-1. They had a much tighter series against the Canucks, requiring a Game 7 victory and a comeback from 3-2 down. They then defeated the Dallas Stars 4-2 to get here.

Here are our thoughts:

Scott: The Oilers beat the Kings in 5 games in round 1, it took them 7 games to get by the Canucks in round 2 and in the 3rd round they beat the Stars in 6 games. At home they have gone 6-3 which is the same record they have when playing on the road.

As expected they are led by McDavid who has 31 points in 18 games, Draisaitl has 28, Nugent-Hopkins has 20 and Hyman has 18 including a playoff leading 14 goals. On defense Bouchard has been incredible with 27 points, Ekholm has 7 and Kulak 5. Skinner has been up and down going 11-5 with a 2.50 GAA and a .897 save percentage

The Panthers got past their rivals the Lightning in 5 games in round 1, the Bruins in 6 games in round 2 and then the Rangers in 6 games in round 3. At home they have gone 6-3 and on the road they’ve gone 6-2.

Tkachuk leads the team in points in the postseason with 19. Barkov and Verhaeghe are right behind him with 17, Lundell and Reinhart have 12 and Bennett has 10. On defense they are lead by Forsling with 11 points and Montour with 9. Bobrovsky has been great for them going 12-5 with a 2.20 GAA and a .908 save percentage.

In beating the Rangers and the Bruins the Panthers eliminated they last 2 Presidents Trophy winning teams. The Panthers can win a game in many different ways. They can play fast a win in transition, can play heavy and shut down teams defensively or the have Bobrovsky who can be a beast at times. On advantage the Panthers have is in goal and they are also a team who can and will embrace the rough stuff.

I would love for a Canadian team to win a Stanley Cup as our country has been waiting for a long, long time for one. But I just think that with the experience the Panthers have from losing in last years final and Bobrovsky being better than Skinner it looks like it’s the Panthers who will be hoisting the Cup. If I’m wrong then so be it.

Panthers win series.

Graeme: I’d love to see the Oilers win. I mean they’ve been handed so many #1 picks it just feels inevitable they win at some point. But man – when you look at the Florida Panthers, they just seem like a team that absolutely should be hoisting their first Stanley Cup, don’t they?

Goalscoring wise, the Oilers have performed better overall. But the Panthers logged one of the best GA/60s in the playoffs. Panthers also created the most with a hefty 3.5 xGF/60. Skinner is playing better, but that is still bad news for him. 2nd best xGA/60 of the playoffs too.

I would love to see the Oilers win the cup. But I just don’t see it.

The passive zone coverage by the Oilers against the Stars was a big factor, and they just couldn’t adapt to it. Florida are strong on the forecheck and that just won’t work against them.

I can see the Oilers relying heavily on some McDavid magic and I just don’t think that will be enough.

Panthers Win Series

Ontario: 1.77 Odds at Sports Interaction
Canada: 1.77 Odds at Sports Interaction
USA: -130 Odds at GT Bets.
Everyone Else: 1.74 Odds at Bet365 (Americans: We recommend http://www.bovada.lv

(Odds correct as of 2024/06/05 12:48:18 AM EST but are subject to change.)

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BetNHL.ca » Tonights Tips » Stanley Cup Finals 2023/2024 Betting Tips
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Good points, Scott and Graeme. The betting market is showing similar early trends to a Panthers series win. But having watched the Oilers and Panthers play, I have to see the Oilers taking the Stanley Cup. I think the Oilers will supply more speed, skating and stickhandling skill and forceful creative drive with depth of talent than certainly any eastern team has shown Florida in the playoffs, or that Florida has.

The Rangers were pathetic in their last round. Boston just doesn’t have it this year. Tampa really didn’t show up in the playoffs this year with any force. Against that selection, I’d say Vancouver is a superior force, and I’d say Dallas would also wipe the ice clear of Tampa, Boston and the Rangers this year, with little difficulty. The Oilers have had the harder road to the final round.

It’s a bit of that old “west vs east” playing style difference, magnified on one side with the Oilers being at peak offensive ability now and with the Oilers having (with Paul Coffey’s help), found very good ways to shut down teams with defense, where other teams shot and goal counts just plummet. In general comparison, I think the Panthers forwards seem small and slow, with very predictable offensive methods.

I’ve already made the bet; Oilers take the Stanley Cup.

GAME ONE: I have to think the Panthers are already crapping bricks about this. They’ll come out in a panic, and may score first. Doesn’t matter. Once the first goal of Game One is in a net, the series begins and the Oilers will be at 100% every second. Oilers in 5….


I trust Floridas goaltending more. Floridas forecheck is relentless, which will wear on Edmonton as the series goes. This could also limit the amount of opportunities for McDavid and Hyman. Also being able to match a great defensive player like Barkov against them will be a huge factor as well. I don’t like Edmonton’s depth compared to Florida who has a solid top three lines. Both defenses have been solid but with Skinner in net it gives less leeway to Edmonton. Penalties could continue to shrink and Florida has already done a great job against the Rangers Power Play to give them confidence. I’m not sure they’ll be able to shut down the Oilers Power Play to the same level but “if” they do replicate that success, this series won’t be close in my opinion. I don’t think Oilers can outplay Florida 5 on 5 for long stretches, let alone for 4 games.

There are ways Edmonton could win, but if things go to script I see more paths to the Panthers lifting the cup. There’s also more pressure on Edmonton. Florida’s been here last year and shouldn’t have any issues adapting even if things aren’t always going well for them. I had grabbed a Florida future at +450 and I still feel good about their chances. Didn’t have anything for Game 1 and will use the game to see if there’s anything that’ll stand out for the games going forward. I do expect this to be a low scoring series, with both defenses being so solid. And to Skinner’s credit he has been better in recent games. I expect Florida to control tempo and pace for long stretches of these games which should frustrate and wear on Edmonton as the series goes along.