Oilers Continue Miracle Run by Reaching Game 7 - The Hockey Writers Edmonton Oilers Latest News, Analysis & More (2024)

by Dale Bochon

There have been very few moments in hockey that you could truly call miraculous. At the 1980 Winter Olympic Games, Al Michaels asked hockey fans if they believed in miracles during the final seconds of the United States victory over the powerhouse Soviet Union. I saw a few miracles happen regularly in the 1980s when Edmonton Oilers legend Wayne Gretzky piled up record after record in his time in the Alberta Capital. I saw a miracle happen in 1990 when a fresh Petr Klima stepped out on the ice and scored the winner in triple overtime for the Oilers against Boston Bruins goaltender Andy Moog in Game 1 of the 1990 Stanley Cup Final. I’ve been a fan of the Oilers since 1979-80, and I can honestly say I’ve never seen anything like the 2023-24 version of the team. Win or lose on Monday in Game 7 of the 2024 Stanley Cup Final against the Florida Panthers; I will still consider this a miracle season for a miracle team.

Oilers Have Risen From the Dead More Than Once in the 2023-24 NHL Season

This is a team and fanbase that now believes. The Oilers had to scratch and claw their way back into contention after a disastrous 2-9-1 start to the 23-24 NHL Season. They shocked many people when they went from a tie for last place in the NHL standings in early November to clinching a playoff spot in early April.

In the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs, they had to come from a 3-2 series deficit to beat the Vancouver Canucks in seven games in the second round. The Oilers had to come back from a 2-1 hole to defeat the Dallas Stars in six games in the Western Conference Final. But they truly saved their best for last this postseason by coming back from a three-game deficit against the Florida Panthers in the Stanley Cup Final to tie the series 3-3 thanksto a 5-1 victoryon June 21 in Edmonton. Now, they’re within one win of the Stanley Cup. That, ladies and gentlemen, is a miracle in itself. Now imagine if they win Game 7.

This Oilers Team Will Be Ready

Unlike the 2006 version of the Oilers, who gave it everything they had to make it to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Carolina Hurricanes, this version of the Oilers still has some gas left in the tank. After a relatively quiet game on the scoresheet in the Oilers’ 5-1 Game 6 victory, there’s a really good chance that Oilers Captain Connor McDavid will burst out of the chutes in Game 7 in Sunrise, Florida, like a raging bull. This is truly his moment. It is the signature game of his Hall of Fame-worthy career, and you can bet that he will rise to the occasion.

Related: Just like Messi, Connor McDavid’s Time To Win It All Will Come

The Oilers as a team started to believe they could win in this Stanley Cup Final in the 3rd period of their 4-3 loss to the Panthers in Game 3. That’s when they scored two goals against Sergei Bobrovsky, who was the leading candidate for the Conn Smythe trophy at the time. That 3rd-period comeback by the Oilers gave them hope, belief, and the realization that they could beat Bobrovsky. It reminds me of 1984 when the Oilers finally solved the great Billy Smith of the New York Islanders in Game 3 on home ice in Edmonton. That was their Neo from the Matrix/Ted Lasso “Believe” moment in 1984, and I believe the 2024 version of the team had their moment when they solved the mystery of Bobrovsky late in Game 3.

In Game 7, Anything Can Happen

It wouldn’t seem fair for the Oilers to come back and lose Game 7 in Florida on Monday. But it could happen. Bobrovsky could channel his inner Ken Dryden and put up a brick wall, or Panthers star Matthew Tkachuk could put on a show. But I’m not sure. The mental makeup of the Panthers at the moment is most likely pretty low, especially after losing three Stanley Cup Final-clinching games in a row. But stranger things have happened. Meanwhile, the Oilers are giving the Panthers fits with their speed and efficiency on the penalty kill. And Oilers goaltender Stuart Skinner has outplayed Bobrovsky in the past seven periods. Can Skinner do it again? I believe so.

The 2023-24 Edmonton Oilers have a chance to inspire an entirely new generation of hockey fans. If the Oilers win on Monday, they will join the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs as the only other team to erase a 3-0 deficit in the Stanley Cup Final and come back and win it. An Oilers win might possibly be the greatest comeback in professional sports history – it would be fitting if it was McDavid’s first Stanley Cup. It would also be a testament to believing in yourself and your teammates no matter how bleak things looked all season and throughout the playoffs. Florida has been known for having miracles, such as the Miracle of Brownsville in the 1990s… on Monday, June 24, there will be another miracle in Florida, this time in Sunrise. It’ll either be the miracle Oilers hoisting the Stanley Cup or the comeback from the dead for one final game, the Panthers. Either way, Game 7 of the 2024 Stanley Cup Final will be miraculous.

Oilers Continue Miracle Run by Reaching Game 7 - The Hockey Writers Edmonton Oilers Latest News, Analysis & More (2)
Oilers Continue Miracle Run by Reaching Game 7 - The Hockey Writers Edmonton Oilers Latest News, Analysis & More (2024)


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