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The Oilers are on the brink of doing something extraordinary in the Stanley Cup Final

I recently wrote in this very space that both the NBA Finals and NHL Stanley Cup Final were duds.

I said this because the Boston Celtics had almost effortlessly taken a 3-0 lead over the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Finals, while the Florida Panthers had done the same to the Edmonton Oilers in the Stanley Cup Final.

Both Dallas and Edmonton immediately did their part to make me look like a foolish hater, when the Mavericks blew out Boston at home in Game 4, while the Oilers did the same to Florida in their Game 4.

Unfortunately, the Mavericks couldn’t parlay their 122-84 victory into any real momentum and went down easily in Game 5 by a score of 106-88 at TD Garden on Monday night. The Celtics captured their record 18th NBA championship, while Dallas had to be content with its Western Conference banner.

Surely, the Panthers would quickly follow suit and give their fans at Amerant Bank Arena in Sunrise, Florida, their first-ever Stanley Cup. After all, as I recently wrote in this very space, the state of Florida is now the hockey hotbed of the NHL, home to five straight Eastern Conference champions and two of the previous four Stanley Cup winners. Three out of five Stanley Cup champs for the Sunshine State seemed like a mere formality.

But Connor McDavid and the Oilers were determined to drag the Panthers back to Edmonton, and they did just that with a 5-3 victory in Game 5 on Tuesday night.

OK, enough playing around, bruh (or, eh). The guy with the white gloves had Lord Stanley all shined up and in the building for Game 4, but no Panthers player got to hoist it. He dragged that sucker back to Florida for Game 5, and still, no Panther would drink champagne (or Tropicana) out of it. He had to fly the Cup back to Edmonton for Game 6, so that had to be the time when the team from the state of Florida would torture fans from the country of Canada by skating around the ice with Lord Stanley hoisted high in the air during the post-game celebration at Rogers Place. I mean, no Canadian-based NHL team had won the Cup since 1993. As for the Oilers, the team that the Great One had built, it hadn’t won the thing since 1990. The Panthers winning it all in Edmonton would have been so modern NHL, no?


OK, it would be so modern NHL, but it didn’t happen.

The Oilers dominated Florida for a third-straight game and won by a score of 5-1 at Rogers Place on Friday night.

Now, Edmonton is on the brink of doing something extraordinary and has a chance to complete the remarkable comeback (or reverse sweep) when the puck drops for Game 7 at  8 p.m. at Amerant Bank Arena on Monday night.

While it would be extraordinary, the Oilers coming back from a 3-0 deficit wouldn’t necessarily be historic, especially in the NHL, where it’s happened a handful of times. According to the official Wikipedia Page on teams overcoming 3-0 series deficits (yes, there is such a page), the Los Angeles Kings overcame a 3-0 deficit to defeat the San Jose Sharks in the first round of the 2014 Western Conference playoffs. A few years before that, the Philadelphia Flyers overcame a 3-0 deficit to beat the Boston Bruins in the 2010 Eastern Conference Finals. In 1975, the New York Islanders accomplished the feat against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the quarterfinals. In 1942, the Toronto Maple Leafs pulled this off by winning four straight over the Detroit Red Wings to win the Stanley Cup.

Also, five previous NHL teams won three straight games after trailing 3-0 in a series only to lose Game 7.

So, making it to a seventh game after trailing 3-0 is fairly common in the NHL, at least, relatively speaking.

No NBA team has completed the reverse sweep, although four have forced a Game 7, with the most recent coming in the 2023 Eastern Conference Finals when the Celtics did so before falling to the Heat.

It’s only happened twice in Major League Baseball, with the most recent occurring in the 2020 American League Championship Series. But despite storming back to force a Game 7, the Astros fell to the Rays.

In 2004, the Boston Red Sox became the first and only team to storm all the way back from being down 3-0 when they defeated the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series.

The Red Sox not only came back to advance to the World Series, but they would go on to win their first championship since 1918.

Perhaps that’s a good omen for Canada and its Stanley Cup drought.

One way or another, the winner of the 2024 Stanley Cup will make a great story, but why do I get the feeling the Oilers are going to drag Lord Stanley back to Edmonton?


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