"They look like Arizona"- Ex-Stanley Cup champ Chris Nilan mocks Panthers for choking in 3-0 lead against Oilers in Stanley Cup Final

NHL: Stanley Cup Final-Edmonton Oilers at Florida Panthers
Former Stanley Cup champion Chris Nilan criticized Florida Panthers

Former Stanley Cup champion Chris Nilan criticized the Florida Panthers for their failure to close out the Stanley Cup Final after leading 3-0 against the Edmonton Oilers. The Oilers have clawed their way back with two consecutive victories, narrowing the series gap to 3-2.

In a video shared on X, Nilan expressed his disappointment with the Panthers' performance.

"I’m really surprised at Florida." Nilan said. "You just can't go home and think you're going to win a hockey game and lift that Stanley Cup; you have to play. They didn’t start playing until halfway through the game."

Nilan compared the Panthers' lackluster effort to that of the Arizona Coyotes.

"They looked like, well, they looked like Arizona, and Arizona doesn't even have a team for Christ’s sake. Just unbelievable," Nilan added.

He also credited Connor McDavid for his role in the comeback of the Oilers.

"But Edmonton, you gotta give them credit, man." Nilan said. "They came back. McDavid stepped up big time and brought it tonight, no question. Maybe, just maybe, now we're gonna get to see that Game Seven."

McDavid scored four points consecutively in the last two games, etching his name in Stanley Cup history. In Game 4, he scored a goal and three assists and in the latest 5-3 win, he scored two goals and two assists.

"Florida, man, they didn’t even look like themselves." Nilan said. "They just thought they could show up at home and win. God, you’re going to the Stanley Cup Final two years in a row now, but not looking good."

Nilan said Florida need to show up to secure the championship. But now it seems more challenging as the series heads back to Edmonton.

Florida Panthers coach Paul Maurice's statement after Game 5 loss

Florida Panthers head coach Paul Maurice was calm and composed despite the team's 5-3 loss to the Edmonton Oilers in Game 5. He emphasized the need to win one more game, stating the team wasn't deflated but slightly grumpy.

“I’m not pumping tires. I’m not rubbing backs,” Maurice said. “I don’t think we need that at all. Everybody feels probably exactly the way I do right now. I’m not feeling deflated. Neither is the hockey team. They’re not feeling deflated. A little grumpy.”
"Yeah, it’s hard," Maurice added. "But I don’t feel deflated. ... We didn't get the result that we wanted. We were no good the game before (an 8-1 loss in Game 4). We were pretty darn good here tonight. That's how we're going north."

The Panthers will need goalie Sergei Bobrovsky to get back in form if they want to close out the series in Edmonton.

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Edited by Krutik Jain
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