"Don't get swept in front of your home crowd": Fans react to Kris Knoblauch’s upbeat statement before Game 4 

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Edmonton Oilers at Vancouver Canucks
Fans react to Kris Knoblauch’s upbeat statement before Game 4

Despite suffering a 3-0 deficit in the Stanley Cup Final series, Edmonton Oilers head coach Kris Knoblauch sounded quite optimistic when addressing the press on Friday. Knoblauch feels Edmonton can still turn things around against the Florida Panthers.

During the press conference, the Oilers' head coach was asked if he feels it's part of his job to keep the team's spirits high and maintain a positive attitude leading up to the next game, or if he believes that the players' maturity and experience mean they can handle it themselves.

In response, Knoblauch commented that he would reinforce positivity:

“I think there's a lot of optimism after the game, today in practice, in the dressing room, talking to the guys. You know, I believe the last time we lost three in a row, things went pretty well for us, and we're hoping we can do that again,” Knoblauch said.

Fans were quick to react to the coach’s comments on the internet. Some were not happy with Knoblauch’s upbeat statement in the face of their dismal outings and let their opinions known on social media.

Here are some of the fan reactions from X/Twitter:

“Start with ONE WIN! Don't get swept in front of your home crowd, THAT's the #1 motivation right now!”
“‘There’s a lot of optimism’ in plain English means ‘My team is petrified’,” quipped one fan.
“These Q&As before Game 4 is nothing but optimism and wishful thinking. The Oilers are likely getting swept because they don’t wanna win. They can’t score, they can’t play defence/hold a lead. Florida should be kind to you and let you win Game 4 so you can lose Game 5,” wrote one user.

A few fans even called the coach “delusional”. Knoublauch’s three-game losing streak reference did not sit well with some fans, who pointed out that one cannot compare regular season records with that in the postseason, especially in the final series.

“Bwahhaha what a putz comparing the regular season to the SCF?? Nice move rook. Remember Florida lost last year and learned you will have to kill them to beat them now,” wrote one fan.
“Was the last time they lost three in a row in the playoffs? And did they have to play the Panthers until they lost?” commented another user.
“If delusion was a person,” wrote another.

Kris Knoublauch admits it's ‘difficult’ playing against Panthers in SCF

While talking to the press on Friday, Knoblauch admitted being in a challenging spot in the series. However, he pointed out that the team had gone on impressive runs during the regular season and could pull off something similar:

“You know, we've gone on some quite astonishing runs during the regular season,” Knoblauch said. “Obviously, it's a little more difficult now playing in the playoffs against Florida in the Stanley Cup Final. But also optimistic about the way we've played so far in this series. We've got a lot to be optimistic about.”

The coach referred to their finishing rate and highlighted that the team has been generating more chances compared to previous series against teams like LA, Vancouver and Dallas. Addressing questions about finding different types of scoring opportunities, Knoblauch touched on the balance between making plays and avoiding mistakes:

“Yeah, obviously, the more we throw it to the net, the more opportunities we have to score. But we also don't want to be just throwing away the puck and getting a C-grade chance when we could have built it into something more,” he added.

Next up, the Edmonton Oilers will host the Florida Panthers in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final at Rogers Place on Saturday, hoping to avoid a sweep and keep their postseason alive.

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Edited by Veer Badani
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