No NHL Finalist Agrees on One Thing: “The Downside Begins”

According to Ville Nieminen, the Florida Panthers can beat Connor McDavid.

Oilers center Connor McDavid may be the best puck player in the world. AOP / USA Today Sports

  • The Edmonton Oilers are loved for their relaxed pace of play.
  • The Florida Panthers’ strength is the grappling game.
  • The Stanley Cup Final will be decided by a battle between Alexander Barkov and Connor McDavid.

The Florida Panthers lead the Stanley Cup Finals with a 3-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers. However, the Canadian team Oilers have won the last two finals.

A fierce battle is still going on for Dhruvidirupa.

– Edmonton will create more scoring opportunities. If the team continues to do that, if it’s efficient and if Uli and Alivoima are still working, why not, says Ville Nieminen, who won the Stanley Cup in 2001.

But the journey to the coveted pitcher is still tough.

– Connor McDavid Future fire support needed. Edmonton needs to win as a team. Nieminen thinks support will come from Leon Tricite, who was already improved in the last game, or perhaps in the form of superiority.

One win is enough for the Panthers, two for the Oilers.

Destruction game out

Wille Nieminen calls Panthers’ “destruction game.” ZUMAWIRE / MVPHOTOS

In the final series, captains Alexander Barkov and McDavid will lead their team to a bigger dream.

– Edmonton is a team that looks like McDavid and Florida is a team that looks like Parkov. In Florida, four chains must beat at all times. Their destructive game must be reinvented, Florida’s game is collaborative.

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– In the ball game, Florida needs to catch up on its strength, which is destroying the opposition, and improve their starting game. They need to make precise use of control openings in the end and midfield. And that, in turn, turns out to be their forte—the hair-raising game, Nieminen points out.

McDavid – Superman?

Alexander Barkov aims to lead the Florida Panthers to their first championship in club history. AOP / USA TODAY Sports

McDavid has 3+8 points in the last five games. In the playoffs, the Canadian made 8+34 shots.

Can McDavid keep up with such wild power until the end?

– That’s a good question. “I don’t believe in that, I believe in cooperation,” says Nieminen, commenting on Viaplay’s final.

– There are signs that McDavid is a superhuman and a superplayer. I still don’t think he can win the joint. The journey is long and he always has to solve games.


Anton Lundell is part of the Panthers’ Finnish five. The others are Aleksander Barkov, Eetu Luostarinen, Niko Mikola and assistant coach Tuomo Ruutu. AOP / USA TODAY Sports

With a couple of days between games, the finals are played at a more relaxed pace.

– During these intervals it rains in Edmonton’s cave. The team can play on three pitches, in short items. To win, they have to gamble a lot. Edmonton can’t handle Florida’s material, Nieminen reminds.

The Oilers’ strength reserves are huge. In the last 15 games, it has been weak 44 times, with only one win coming at home in that time. Low strength percentage is 97.7.

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– This is an exceptional statistic. But their inferiority complex must still persist.

Pressure on the oils

The Canadian team last won the Stanley Cup in 1993. That’s when the Montreal Canadiens did the trick.

So, the Oilers carry the pressure of puck-loving Canada on their shoulders.

Ice hockey is at a staggering level in the province of Alberta and across the country. The next final will be held in Edmonton.

Although the series seems to be leveling, Nieminen reminds us of the facts.

– We don’t know if the next game will be good or not. Edmonton’s face-wash in the final four poses its own pressure conditions. Played for the fifth time and won.

– Now the pressure is back on Edmonton, it has to win at home or it’s over. It’s not easy, Nieminen thinks.

Descent begins

The distance between Edmonton and the Panthers’ home ground is more than 4,000 kilometres. The flights are long and even in the last meters of the season the difficulty of the players is very difficult.

– Some of the players there have already played around 105 games this season. Everyone loves a season ending. There are still a couple of games to go. Nothing matters at this point, Niminon knows.

Of course, no one will say a word about being tired.

– Players go into a kind of bubble. As the season ends the psychotic fall begins. When the bubble bursts it could be violent.

The other team still has to find the energy for a championship celebration.

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