Evan Rodrigues for Game 2 blog

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 third entry, Rodrigues talks about coming through with two goals to help the Panthers take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-7 series, not leaving a Finnish teammate alone to answer postgame questions and getting some recovery before hitting the road for Game 3. 

It’s been a good start to the Stanley Cup Final. We’re only two games in, though. Our focus is on Game 3, our focus is on winning the next one and doesn’t matter who it is any given night: We’re here with one thing on our mind and that’s to win a Stanley Cup and we’ll start preparing for the next one right now.

It’s nice to contribute two goals to a win and that’s the biggest thing. At the end of the day, it’s a good feeling because we won and you can score goals and whatever, have points, but if you’re not winning, it doesn’t matter and it’s not a good feeling. I’m happy to get the result and looking forward to keep going.

EDM@FLA SCF, Gm2: Rodrigues capitalizes on turnover for lead in 3rd period

I haven’t changed much up from one game to the other. You go through your routines all year long so that when you get into a situation like this, where it’s big, meaningful games, you stick to what you’ve done all year long. That’s what I’ve tried to do.  The sleeps might be a little harder. There’s a little bit more excitement, but we’re here with one goal in mind and I’m going to continue to do what I’ve done all year long, though, because that’s what will help me have the most success.

I thought we got to our game more today than in Game 1, more to our style. I think we played timid a little bit in the first game, and I think today we were more aggressive and again, playing the way we’ve played all year.

We’ve trained all year and played a certain style all year so that when we get in this moment, it’s no different than the first 82 in the regular season and the first 18, 19 Stanley Cup Playoff games. We go out there, and I’m not saying it’s muscle memory, but it’s just how we do it. You don’t have to change anything up. You play the way you’ve been playing, and I think that’s why we’re having success.

I had to stay when defenseman Niko Mikkola answered questions in Finnish. I’ve gotten along with all of the Finns. They’re just really good people and we’ve hung out. We’ve gotten dinners together. Sometimes I can’t understand them but they’re fun to be around and good people, always in a good mood. Even up there Niko said I was half Finn because I’m with him quite a bit. I wasn’t going to leave him hanging by himself. We’re brothers.

And I said Kiitos, which is thank you in Finnish. That’s all I know, so I had to get it out there.

As for our recovery day, it’s again about what we’ve done all year. I don’t mean to be a broken record, but we’ve had recovery days throughout the playoffs and in the regular season.

There was game, I don’t know, around No. 15-20 early on in the year and we have a recovery day and each day you figure out what works for you and through the season, you start doing different things and you see which one the next day makes you feel better. It was a focus because this is where we expected to be. This was our goal, to be back here and we knew, come that time we had to be ready for the grind of it. Recovery is a really big part of that, so all year long we focus on what works for each individual guy.

Tomorrow we’ll go do what we’ve done throughout the whole year and we’ll start getting ready for Game 3.

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