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Morning Coffee: McDavid, Oilers have made the inconceivable seem realistic

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Hope flickers in the darkness.

After defying the odds one more time, the Edmonton Oilers are still alive in the Stanley Cup Final.

29 teams in NHL history have trailed 3-0 in a best-of-seven Stanley Cup Final.

The Oilers are just the fourth to force a Game 6.

They’re the first team in NHL history to do it on the road with the previous five teams all losing in that spot.

How did Edmonton turn things around?

Facing elimination on the game’s biggest stage, the best hockey player on the planet has taken over the series.

It doesn’t hurt that key players have stepped up with timely goals either, not to mention Stuart Skinner’s stellar play in elimination games, but I’ve digressed.

Connor McDavid is the first player in NHL history to record four points in back-to-back games in the Stanley Cup Final.

He’s now just five points back of Wayne Gretzky’s record for the most points in a single postseason.

After leading the Oilers to consecutive wins while facing elimination, McDavid has emerged as the favourite to win the Conn Smythe Trophy at FanDuel.

Meanwhile, Edmonton’s odds to win the Stanley Cup were on the move once again following last night’s win.

As if last night’s spectacle wasn’t good enough, we could be in line for a potentially epic conclusion to this year’s Stanley Cup Final.

With the opportunity to force the series to go the distance, the Oilers opened as the favourite to win Game 6 on home ice on Friday night at FanDuel.

McDavid and company have defied the odds to fight their way back into the series.

Suddenly, the once inconceivable doesn’t seem so unrealistic anymore.

Just keep swimming.

This is the Morning Coffee for Wednesday, June 19th, 2024.

McDavid, Oilers Have Made The Inconceivable Seem Realistic

The Oilers could be found as high as +1000 to win the Stanley Cup at FanDuel trailing 3-0 in the series.

After exploding for 13 goals combined in back-to-back wins, Edmonton is down to +280 to win the Stanley Cup at FanDuel this morning.

 

 

In terms of implied probability, those numbers represent a jump from a 9.1 per cent chance to a 26.3 per cent chance to win it all.

Considering the circumstances, I imagine Oilers Nation feels even better about their chances this morning.

Edmonton’s 13 goals when facing elimination in the Stanley Cup Final are the most in the NHL’s modern era and the second-most in NHL history.

The 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs scored 19 goals when facing elimination as the only team in NHL history to rally from a 3-0 series deficit to win the Stanley Cup.

If they continue to play like they did the last two games, the Oilers could undoubtedly set a new all-time record.

 

Of course, Edmonton wouldn’t be in this spot without McDavid’s unprecedented heroics in Games 4 and 5.

McDavid is the first player in NHL history with four points in back-to-back games in the Stanley Cup Final.

His eight points when facing elimination are also the most in a Stanley Cup Final in NHL history.

 

For perspective, No. 97 has three goals and five assists in his last two games.

The entire Florida Panthers’ roster has combined for four goals and six assists in that same span.

 

McDavid is up to 42 points in these playoffs – the fourth-most in a single postseason behind only Gretzky and Mario Lemieux.

Gretzky and Lemieux each went on to win the Conn Smythe Trophy in the three postseasons in which they put up more points than McDavid’s current total.

 

After dominant performances in back-to-back wins, McDavid is now the favourite to win the Conn Smythe Trophy at FanDuel.

There are some that still believe the Oilers will have to win the Stanley Cup for McDavid to win the Conn Smythe Trophy.

However, that sentiment isn’t reflected in the move that we saw in the Conn Smythe Trophy futures market at FanDuel last night.

 

McDavid entered Game 5 as the third choice to win the Conn Smythe Trophy at +750 odds.

By the time the night was over, McDavid had emerged as the favourite to win that award at -150.

Aleksander Barkov is the second choice at +190.

Sergei Bobrovsky, who was the heavy Conn Smythe Trophy favourite when the Panthers led 3-0, is now a distant third choice to win that award at +550.

Based on what we have seen in the first five games of the series, nobody has even come close to producing at the level McDavid has to this point.

 

As it stands, win or lose, McDavid has undoubtedly been the most valuable player to his team in the series.
His brilliance has set the stage for a potentially epic conclusion to the 2024 Stanley Cup Final with Game 6 set for Friday in Edmonton.

The Oilers are a -125 favourite for Game 6.

 

The Panthers are +104 to hoist the Stanley Cup with a win in Edmonton on Friday night and -360 to still win the series in either six or seven games.

As somebody who bet on Florida to win it all before Game 1, the last two games have certainly provided me a reason to reevaluate my position with the potential to hedge with the Oilers.

 

With that Panthers ticket in pocket, I was certainly pulling for Florida to finish the series off last night.

After what I’ve witnessed the last two games, I don’t hate the idea of hedging and cheering for a Game 7.

Friday night can’t get here soon enough.