Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers fell on Monday night in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final. Though the Florida Panthers lost Aleksander Barkov, they won thanks to two goals from Evan Rodrigues. Now, Edmonton has its back against the wall as the series shifts to Western Canada.

Many expected much more from Edmonton in the Stanley Cup Final. They made the Final thanks to a historic offensive output from McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and Evan Bouchard. That said, their offense has not shown up against the Panthers. In fact, their goal in Game 2 stands as their only goal of the series.

After the game, McDavid addressed the media. He acknowledged his team's unfortunate position. But he remained defiant and fired off a stern message for those who may be second-guessing them. “I'm looking forward to people doubting us again,” the Oilers star said, via The Athletic's Chris Johnston.

Connor McDavid, Oilers cold in Stanley Cup Final

Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid (97) battles for the puck against Florida Panthers defenseman Dmitry Kulikov (7) during the first period in game one of the 2024 Stanley Cup Final at Amerant Bank Arena.
Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

McDavid and the Oilers are not accustomed to this sort of slump. They have had their issues throughout the season, for sure. As a matter of fact, they began the season as one of the worst teams in the league. But their offense has remained a constant force throughout most of the season. However, the Panthers have simply had their number.

Florida and Edmonton met twice early in the regular season. And in both games, Florida came out on top. They outscored the Oilers 10-4 during those two games. To be fair, both of those games came before Edmonton turned their season around. In the Stanley Cup Final, though, there is no excuse.

Part of the issue is the team's star players. Edmonton has four skaters with more than 20 points this season. Only one of them — Connor McDavid — has a point in this series. McDavid assisted on Mattias Ekholm's first-period goal in Game 2 on Monday night. Evan Bouchard gave away a goal in the third period when his turnover led to Evan Rodrigues finding the back of the net.

The Oilers still have a chance to fight their way back in this series. But they need to figure things quickly. If they can't, they will face the unfortunate prospect of watching the Panthers celebrate their first Stanley Cup championship right in front of them.

A drive to be better

Of course, none of this is new to McDavid and the Oilers. They come this far without being able to identify issues when they arise. Edmonton's captain acknowledged the need to bounce back after Game 2. “We’ve got to get better. We can do better for sure. I thought they went up a level and we didn't match it today,” the Oilers star said, via Sportsnet.

McDavid was certainly not the only person to acknowledge his faults. Draisaitl also acknowledged his shortcomings on Monday night. Edmonton's alternate captain has yet to record a point in this series. Additionally, he picked up a brutal elbowing penalty late in the third period after a hit on Aleksander Barkov.

“I can only speak for myself. I certainly have a lot more to give,” said Draisaitl, via Sportsnet. “Not my best tonight (and he’s) owning that. We’ll regroup and make sure it'll be better in Game 3.”

Edmonton heads home for what could be their final two games of the season. Connor McDavid, Draisaitl, and the Oilers understand what's at stake, and they will certainly put their best foot forward. “We can certainly be better. It starts with me,” Draisaitl said, via Sportsnet. “There's certainly a lot more to give.”