scfgm 3 rodrigues 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 fourth entry, Rodrigues talks about the Panthers taking a 3-0 lead in the best-of-7 series and how his team will prepare for Game 4, when they’ll get the chance to win their first Stanley Cup championship.

Being up 3-0 in the series, you embrace it, enjoy it. In the same token, we do what we’ve done all year long. We prepare the same way. You go through the routines that you’ve done all year long and just narrow your focus. It’s Game 4. That’s what we’re focused on. Treat it as Game 4 and put our best foot forward.

With our scoring opportunities in Game 3, I think we just believe if we play a certain way, we’re going to get the results. During the regular season, we had examples of that, and it’s a belief in that. We’ve done it all year long, and it’s brought us success. We’ve done it in the playoffs, and it’s brought us success. There’s no point in changing now. We’re going to play 60 minutes the same way, and if we do that, if we all are pulling on the rope in the same direction, we’ll get the results we want.

When the Oilers were coming back in the third period, I thought the first half of the third we let them come at us in waves a little bit. We didn’t hang onto pucks in the offensive zone. I thought we got better as the period went on with that. Then they get a goal off our defenseman, a bounce off Niko Mikkola. Then they get a nice deflection goal. I think we just kind of knew that if we just stuck to our game, I know I’m making it sound simple, but you do it all year long. You prepare yourself for these moments. And I thought we did a great job of really bearing down at the end, and it was another really big win for us.

Those last few seconds of the third when you’re in those puck battles, you give it all you got. That’s the biggest thing. You want to play not loose, but you want to play confident. You don’t want to grip your stick and give them the puck. You want to play confident, but at the same token, you’re doing everything you can. You’re blocking everything you can. You’re trying to win every battle. You go to battle for the guy next to you. You want to win it for yourself. You want to win it for the guy next to you. You want to win it for the whole room, the whole organization. You just go to battle.

Nothing changes for our preparation for Game 4. We have to enjoy the moment that we’re in, enjoy the process leading up into Game 4. We hang out with the guys like we have. We’ll go to the lounge, hang out, I’m sure there’ll be cards. Game 4 of the NBA Finals with the Boston Celtics and Dallas Mavericks will be on, so we’ll probably watch that. We’ll do the same things we’ve done all playoffs, and then we’ll come in here Game 4 and treat it like it’s Game 4.

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