Stanley Cup Final: Oilers fans travel in numbers to Florida

Passionate and fired up, a huge gathering of Edmonton Oilers fans have made their presence felt in southern Florida.

The Oilers are trying to win the Stanley Cup for the first time since 1990, and several thousand fans have made to the trek to Sunrise, Fla., to watch their team in-person.

“Let’s go Oilers,” yelled Laverne Katona from Alberta, who came to watch the series with her husband. “I am so stoked for Oilers to take home the Stanley Cup and here’s to the next dynasty for this set of Oilers.”

Adding an added historic layer to this series: a Canadian team has not hoisted the Stanley Cup since 1993.

“I would be in dreamland to be very honest,” said Greg Ellsworth, an Oilers fan from Nova Scotia. “It would be back to the glory days and we would bring Canada back the Stanley Cup.”

Travelling to Florida from Canada takes time and money, but this trip is a bargain compared to watching the Oilers play on home ice.

“It is a little bit cheaper to come to Florida than Edmonton,” said Ellsworth.

“A ticket in Edmonton, a really nice ticket can cost up to US$5000,” Jason Glabb, an Oilers fan from Alberta, told CTV News. “Here it cost about US$1000.”

In the opening game, Edmonton mostly outplayed Florida.

“I thought overall, we played a pretty good game,” Oilers Head Coach Kris Knoblauch said. “We had some chances to score goals.”

However, Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky stopped all 32 shots in a 3-0 win over Edmonton.

While Panther fans went home happy, Oilers fans are left wondering: what now?

“We have won so many series with our backs against the wall, I’m not even worried at all,” said one Oilers fan who also pointed out Edmonton trailed against both the Vancouver Canucks and Dallas Stars, but came back and advanced to the next round in both series.

Edmonton played well enough to win the first game and they will hope for better luck on Monday night.

“It’s a confidence boost for our group, and we know that our best can play with anybody,” said Oilers Captain Connor McDavid.

The second game of the 2024 Stanley Cup Final is Monday night, before the series shifts to Edmonton on Thursday.

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