"Playoffs are a different animal" - Connor McDavid downplays Oilers' 0-2 regular season record vs 2023-24 Florida Panthers

NHL: Stanley Cup Final - Media Day
Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid's take on 0-2 record vs Panthers

Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid gave an interview, shared by Sports Center, on Friday. He gave insight into the team's mindset before Game 1 of the 2024 Stanley Cup Final. When asked about the Oilers' 0-2 regular-season record against the Florida Panthers, McDavid downplayed its significance.

"The Panthers swept the season series from you. What did you learn and take away from those losses that may help you in this series?" Matt Barrie questioned.

McDavid focused in his reply mostly on the Oilers' evolution since early-season losses against teams like Vancouver and Dallas.

"Now, the teams we've played in the playoffs we haven't been very successful against through the regular season. You know, I think of Vancouver and even Dallas," McDavid said.

However, McDavid downplayed the 0-2 regular season record against Final opponent Florida Panthers. He believes things are not the same now since playoffs are completely different.

"Playoffs are a different animal. Those games were real early on in the season. I think the last time we played these guys was maybe early or mid-December. So, we're a different team now. They're a different team," McDavid clarified.
"What do you learn from those games? Obviously, they're a great team. They have great players, and they play fast. But it was so long ago, I'm not sure those games really matter." McDavid said,

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The Oilers are entering the Final after an 18-year wait. The Panthers, previous Stanley Cup runners-up, present a formidable challenge. However, McDavid's focus remains on the present.

The Stanley Cup Final will kick off on June 8 at the Amerant Bank Arena in Florida, the Panthers' home arena.

OHL Exec. Sherry Bassin talks about Connor McDavid

Connor McDavid's intense focus is at the forefront as he prepares for his first Stanley Cup Final with the Edmonton Oilers. Observers like Sherry Bassin have seen McDavid take over games since his days in the Ontario Hockey League. Bassin talked about McDavid's will to prepare and win.

“Everybody talks about will to win. Everybody has a will to win." Bassin said (via NHL.com) "... Ever since I’ve known him, his will to prepare is greater than anybody else. He won’t accept not being the best he can be, because of his abilities he has expectations of himself beyond reason.”

Despite past regular-season challenges against teams like the Florida Panthers, Connor McDavid is determined. Now, in his ninth NHL season and the Oilers' first finals appearance in 18 years, McDavid aims to lead his team to victory against the Panthers.

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Edited by Abhimanyu Gupta
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