Stanley Cup Final Game 5: Three takeaways as Connor McDavid drags Oilers to win

stanley cup final game 5: three takeaways as connor mcdavid drags oilers to win

Connor McDavid.

The 2023-24 NHL season is not over yet as the Edmonton Oilers fought off elimination again on Tuesday night, outlasting the Florida Panthers for a 5-3 win. That sends the series back to Edmonton for Game 6 on Friday night as the Oilers continue trying to fight their way back from a 3-0 series deficit.

Connor McDavid was once again the star of the game on Tuesday and did pretty much everything he could to almost single-handedly make sure the Oilers' season continued.

Here are three takeaways from their Game 5 win.

1. Connor McDavid should win the Conn Smythe Trophy no matter what

Whether the Oilers pull this off and win two more games, or if the Panthers clinch the Cup on Friday night, there should be no debate as to who the playoff MVP should be.

It is McDavid.

It has to be McDavid.

Not only for the jaw-dropping production, including 42 points and an NHL-record 34 assists in a single postseason, but for the way he is dragging his team to wins.

With the Oilers facing elimination the past two games, he has posted back-to-back four-point games and spent the third period of Tuesday's game relentlessly defending like a madman. He already broke Wayne Gretzky's record for most assists in a single postseason and is now just five points back of the GOAT's record for total points.

Both records once seemed unbreakable. One has already been taken by McDavid. Now he has a chance for the other.

2. The pressure seems to have shifted to Florida

When the Panthers took a 3-0 series lead, it seemed to only be a matter of when, and not if, they would clinch it. After all, only five teams in NHL history have ever come back from a 3-0 series deficit, with only one of them happening in a Stanley Cup Final (and that was in 1942!).

But with Edmonton's back-to-back wins, McDavid starting to find his level of dominance and the series shifting back to Edmonton, Florida has to be feeling the pressure now.

Nobody wants to be the team to lose a 3-0 series lead, and Florida is going to be heading into a lion's den on Friday night.

3. This has been an incredible series and it is only getting better

Even after losing the first three games of the series, the Oilers seemed defiant that they were playing well and that the games were not as lopsided as the results might have indicated.

They were not wrong. At least not entirely. The past two games are only justifying that opinion, and adding some pretty intense drama to the series in the process.

Other than Game 2 (which Florida really did dominate), the Oilers have been right there with the Panthers this entire series. They completely controlled Game 4 and built a 3-0 lead in Game 5 on the road.

They have also started to get to Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky. After chasing him in Game 4, they managed to get four goals by him on Tuesday to keep their season going.

It has set the stage for an incredible Game 6 in Edmonton.

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