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2024 Stanley Cup Final: Florida Panthers vs. Edmonton Oilers picks and predictions from Daily Faceoff

45 days. 81 games. 19 overtime periods. Three Game 7s. And we've finally made it to the Stanley Cup Final. The opponents? The Edmonton Oilers and Florida Panthers.

The Oilers had to go through the Los Angeles Kings, Vancouver Canucks and Dallas Stars on their way to the Cup Final.

They defeated the Kings for the third straight year in the opening round in five games. The Canucks were their toughest opponent as they found themselves down 3-2, but completed the Game 7 comeback on the road. Edmonton also found itself down against the Stars, but they won three straight off the back of Stuart Skinner en route to a 4-2 victory in the Western Conference Finals.

On the Panthers’ road to the Cup Final, they had to go through the Tampa Bay Lightning, Boston Bruins, and New York Rangers.

They nearly swept the Lightning but defeated them in five games. They beat the Bruins in six games after figuring out how to best the hottest goaltender in the playoffs, Jeremy Swayman. They then defeated the Rangers in six games, with another difficult test in goal with Igor Shesterkin. Had the Rangers not had Shesterkin, this very well could have been a sweep.

But the job's not finished for either side. This was proven when neither team decided to touch their respective Conference championship trophies. Let's get into the previews.

Jump ahead here:

Florida Panthers vs. Edmonton Oilers series odds

EDM Oilers


FLA Panthers


Read a full breakdown of the 2024 Stanley Cup Final series odds here.

Edmonton Oilers breakdown

The Edmonton Oilers are certainly the underdog here. It's not necessarily because of their lack of playoff experience; they've made it to the second round and Western Conference Final over the last three seasons. Edmonton has slowly gained more playoff experience while maintaining the same core of guys leading them through it all.

For Edmonton, to make it to the Stanley Cup Final is remarkable given the beginning of the season. After a 3-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks (who finished with a 19-54-9 record) on November 9, Edmonton had a 2-9-1 record, tied for the lowest point total in the entire league. But a coaching change and the team’s willingness to buy in to a new system completely turned their season around.

It reminds me of the 2019 St. Louis Blues, who were dead last in the NHL on January 1 and, after a coaching change, came back and won the Stanley Cup.

Heading into the SCF, the Oilers are getting some much-needed rest with six days off. In their series against Vancouver, they held their top five forwards and top pairing defencemen out of practice between games five and six. Speaking about their series against the Canucks, that may have fixed the battle between the ears of Stuart Skinner.

Skinner had a sub .800 save percentage and Kris Knoblauch had no choice but to turn to Calvin Pickard for Games 4 and 5. Skinner was thrown back in the mix onwards and had a 6-2 record, with a 1.85 GAA and a .914 S%. He's rolling just at the right time for this Oilers squad.

Florida Panthers breakdown

The Florida Panthers have had recent playoff success with their core players. They earned their first-ever Presidents' Trophy in the 2021/22 season, but got swept by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the second round.

Since then, they’ve made a franchise-altering trade, shipping long-time Panther Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar to Calgary for Matthew Tkachuk. This marks their second Stanley Cup Final in as many years and their fifth straight playoff berth.

The Panthers were in the race for the Presidents' Trophy for most of the season, even with Brandon Montour and Aaron Ekblad missing the first two months of the season with injuries they sustained on their playoff run last season. It just goes to show how deep this team really is.

Florida enters this series as the betting favorite after running through the goalie gauntlet in the first three rounds, facing Andrei Vailevskiy, Jeremy Swayman and Igor Shesterkin. And no shame to Skinner, but he wouldn't fall into the high-end elite tier that Eastern Conference group of goaltenders are in. We'll see if the Panthers can redeem themselves after losing in five games against the Vegas Golden Knights last season.

Key matchups


Forward-wise, the top-end talent has to side with the Edmonton Oilers. Players like Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl have been perennial 100-point players in this league since the 2018/19 season. While players like Aleksander Barkov and Matthew Tkachuk are stars in their own right, they don't match the offensive prowess of those two Oilers.

Their supporting casts on both teams are fairly even. Zach Hyman and Sam Reinhart both put up their first 50-goal seasons of their careers. Carter Verhaeghe and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins have been steady eddies all season and great compliments to their respective team’s star power.

On paper, these two team’s depths looks like a wash. Having Adam Henrique, Evander Kane, Anton Lundell, and Vladimir Tarasenko on their respective third lines is a luxury. The fourth line is filled with tough, hard-nosed forecheckers and agitators.

For this reason, I've got to give the forward advantage to the Edmonton Oilers given the top-end talent of McDavid and Draisaitl.


There was no other defensive pairing this season with better analytics than the top-pairing of Mattias Ekholm and Evan Bouchar.

Although, Gustav Forsling of the Panthers did had the highest plus/minus rating across the entire NHL this season; however, Bouchard sits third in postseason points this year with 27, which is 11 more than the next highest, Miro Heiskanen and 16 more than Florida's highest, the aforementioned Forsling. But it's not all about points.

Five of the Panthers defencemen, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Brandon Montour, Dmitry Kulikov, Gustav Forsling and Niko Mikkola all rank in the top-10 in scoring chances for percentage. This shows that this Florida defence corps is outstanding at keeping play out of their zone and their opponent’s end.

For these reasons, I'd have to side with the Florida Panthers.


Stuart Skinner is likely the weakest netminder the Panthers will have faced this playoffs. However, if he plays like he did in the Dallas series, he could very well steal the series from the Panthers. We saw the Panthers struggled to beat an inexperienced Adin Hill last season, could Skinner stymie the Panthers again this year?

I haven't even mentioned Sergei Bobrovsky yet. And while he hasn't been at the same caliber as he was during last season's run to the cup, he's still been consistent, with a 12-5 record, 2.20 GAA, and a .908 S%.

For these reasons, and given the question of what type of Skinner the Oilers will get, I'd have to side with the Florida Panthers.

Regular Season H2H

The Oilers and Panthers met twice in the regular season. Florida defeated Edmonton in both meetings, outscoring them 10-4. However, Calvin Pickard started both games against the Panthers this season. The Cats have yet to be tested by this year’s version of Stuart Skinner, the one who helped the Oilers go on a 16-game win streak in January.

Connor McDavid, of course, was the top performer for the Oilers, finishing with two goals and one assist in the two games against Florida, and also averaged four shots against the Panthers this season.

Carter Verhaeghe was the Oiler killer this season. He scored three goals with two assists, a +4 rating and covered this shots on goal line in both games, earning himself the top performer for the Panthers.

Florida Panthers vs. Edmonton Oilers picks and predictions

Series Winner - Edmonton Oilers (+115)

Series Total Games - Over 5.5 (-185)

Series Correct Score - Edmonton Oilers 4-2 (+500)

Player Points in Series - Carter Verhaeghe Over 5.5 (-130)

And just to hedge our bet a little bit in case the Oilers don't win.

Stanley Cup Handoff (available only in Canada)- Kyle Okposo (+400)

Odds displayed within this article were correct at the time of writing and are subject to change.

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