The Coaches Room is a regular feature throughout the 2023-24 season by former NHL coaches and assistants who turn their critical gaze to the game and explain it through the lens of a teacher.

In this edition, Paul MacLean, former coach of the Ottawa Senators and assistant with the Anaheim Ducks, Detroit Red Wings, Columbus Blue Jackets and Toronto Maple Leafs, analyzes the Stanley Cup Final between the Edmonton Oilers and Florida Panthers going into Game 6 at Rogers Place in Edmonton on Friday (8 p.m.; ABC, ESPN+, SN, TVAS, CBC). The Oilers are down 3-2 in the best-of-7 series and are attempting to become the second team in NHL history to come back from a 3-0 deficit in the Final.

I think the Edmonton Oilers have found their game.

As I said earlier, if their power play can get going, it can make a difference for them. In Game 5, they scored two power-play goals. The special teams, especially their penalty kill, has really helped them a lot.

Connor Brown, Adam Henrique and Mattias Janmark have given the Oilers a line that gives the Panthers a hard time. I think the play of those three guys has been a big factor in these last two games.

Connor McDavid is doing what he does, which is great things and record-breaking things, but those three guys have come in and given Edmonton a real good line. They have given the team an identity that can play against Florida and draw penalties.

I think a really big part of the Oilers' success has been that line and how they’ve started games and set the tempo.

Ever since the series got to 3-0, the pressure has been on the Panthers to win, and the hardest thing to do is to win that fourth game.

It’s a big enough burden by itself, but all of a sudden Mom and Dad are there. Your wife and kids are there. Your brothers are all there. They’re all sitting around, so excited for you to have this opportunity to win the Stanley Cup. And then all of sudden, you don’t win and pressure just keeps building and building.

The great thing for the Panthers is they actually have four chances to play for the Stanley Cup. The Oilers are not even playing for the Cup yet. They're just playing for one opportunity to win the Cup, and Florida has four opportunities to win the Cup. The Panthers haven’t done it in two, but they still have two more opportunities to do it.

It’s still advantage Panthers. They only have to win one game, and the Oilers are going game by game.

Pressure can’t hit Edmonton until Game 7. That’s the only time the Oilers can play for the trophy and have all the same pressure that’s on the Panthers. Now, all the family has to get on the plane and go all the way back to Alberta, and their nervousness and anxiety can get passed along to the players.

Their anxiety keeps building and keeps building, and it’ll take a bit of a Herculean effort by the Panthers going to Edmonton for them to win Game 6.

I think it’s going to be a difficult game if you’re Florida, but that’s why that trophy is so special, because it’s so hard to win and the circumstances around it don’t always go your way.

You have to rise to the occasion that’s in front of you and not think about what you’re going to do down the road. It’s really important to stay in the moment, stay in the today. But saying you’re going to do it and trying to be that person to do it is difficult, because the mind wanders and it’s human nature to be thinking about other things.

Things went Florida’s way in the first three games for sure.

In the first three games, Edmonton’s power play didn’t get going, and its special teams are big.

Edmonton doesn’t check you to death and Florida does, and Edmonton doesn’t play physically like Florida does, but the Oilers can outscore you. If they can get that game going, they’re hard to beat and they proved that this season.

When they get that type of game going and they have the speed they play with -- where they’re not playing in their zone, they’re exiting their zone quickly, they’re drawing penalties because they’re playing through the neutral zone with speed -- they are tough to beat.

The Panthers took 12 total minor penalties in Game 4 and Game 5. That’s a recipe for disaster, and it is the biggest problem they have. They can’t kill penalties, and if you can’t kill them, you can’t take them.

Edmonton’s speed exiting its zone and speed through the neutral zone is starting to put some pressure on Florida, and if you give the Oilers enough power-play opportunities, they’re going to find a way to score.

McDavid is playing great. There was another guy, who was named Wayne Gretzky, and he won a lot of Stanley Cup championships in Edmonton. But Gretzky also had a lot of help.

At the same time, McDavid couldn’t do what he’s doing now without the help of his teammates. They're helping him, and that’s great to see.

Whenever someone is breaking records, I think it’s great for the fans and for the game that there is another generation of players who can do those kinds of things.

McDavid is doing great things. The team is doing great, and the fan base is alive. When Oilers fans are filling up the rink and the game is in Florida, that’s pretty impressive.

It’s going to be a wild night in Edmonton for Game 6.

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