Evan Rodrigues Game 1 goal

Florida Panthers forward Evan Rodrigues will be keeping his own blog throughout the 2024 Stanley Cup Final against the Edmonton Oilers. He will check in regularly with behind-the-scenes access.

In his second entry, Rodrigues discusses the Panthers’ 3-0 win against the Oilers in Game 1 at Amerant Bank Arena on Saturday, the pregame atmosphere, and scoring in his first career Cup Final game.

Heading into Game 1, I had a pretty normal day, a pretty good day. I got a good nap in. It’s something that you think about. You’re going to be so excited and sometimes it’s hard to fall asleep, but I had a good nap, went through the stuff I do all year. It’s why you play 100 games before this. You have your routine so when you get to a big game like this you know what you do. You do the same thing you did all year, previous years, what you’ve done before. So, it was a pretty good day.

It was a cool feeling getting out there for Game 1. It was a little bit of what I expected, but coming out of that tunnel, you never know what you’re going to feel. Then the touch of bringing the (Stanley) Cup onto the ice wasn’t something I was expecting. I thought that was really cool and was a nice touch. It definitely lived up to the hype.

There were a couple of moments, a couple of songs that were being played that I was really enjoying at certain points of the game. If you did an iso-cam on me, you’d see I was bumping to a couple of them in the defensive zone. Sum 41’s “Fatlip,” when that came on, I was kind of feeling it a little bit.

After the first couple of shifts, I almost took a deep breath and settled into the game. I was in the moment. I put a smile on my face. It’s what you dream of. It wasn’t perfect at the beginning, but as the game went on, it started to really settle in. It was a big win for us.

Yeah, my first Cup Final goal, it was such a bang-bang play that I didn’t really have time to react. The puck went in, and I was like, ‘I’ve got to get to [Sam Bennett],’ because I don’t even know how he made the play. It kind of happened quickly and I was happy it went in. It wasn’t one of those plays where you make a move and things are kind of turning over and you think it’s coming. It just showed up in front of me, went in, and obviously happy it did.

EDM@FLA SCF, Gm1: Rodrigues buries centering feed from Bennett

At this time of the year, it’s going to be a different player every game, and tonight it was Sergei Bobrovsky for us. He’s been outstanding throughout the playoffs. He was outstanding tonight (32 saves) and I’m looking forward to seeing more of it.

Coming down off this game, there’s a reason why you have your routines the first 99 games before this. I’m going to get in the gym, going to spin my legs. I’m sure there’s a small workout to do, so I'm going to do that, drink the same things after. We have recovery stuff we do, then go home and go to bed.

I mean, I’ll watch my goal maybe once. Got to watch it a couple of times, right?

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