Oilers fans support unwavering despite Game 1 loss in Stanley Cup final

The Edmonton Oilers lost Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final, but fans are backing them all the way. (Nathan Gross/CBC - image credit)
The Edmonton Oilers lost Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final, but fans are backing them all the way. (Nathan Gross/CBC - image credit)

Downtown Edmonton was far more subdued Saturday night than it had been six days earlier, as the Oilers were shut out 3-0 in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final.

Many among the sea of blue and orange in Ice District, just outside Rogers Place, watched the game with bated breath, as the Oilers outshot the Florida Panthers nearly two-to-one. But Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky was impenetrable.

Oilers Nation is still confident in their boys, though.

"We're OK. This is the first game. I'm not worried at all," said Camryn Braun, who is from Calgary but was at Saturday's street party in Edmonton. "We've got a long series."

Spencer Gillespie, who joined Braun from Calgary, echoed her sentiments.

"The Oilers were built to resist the trials," Gillespie said. "We've been through it."

A woman watches the Oilers-Panthers game on June 8, 2024, while at the street party outside of Rogers Place in downtown Edmonton.
A woman watches the Oilers-Panthers game on June 8, 2024, while at the street party outside of Rogers Place in downtown Edmonton.

A woman watches the Oilers-Panthers game on Saturday while at the street party outside of Rogers Place in downtown Edmonton. (Nathan Gross/CBC)

Saturday's game marked the Oilers' first championship series match in 18 years. Most players on the team have never gone this deep in the playoffs, while the Panthers are looking for redemption after finishing as last year's runners-up.

The Panthers notched an early lead, slipping the puck past Oilers goalie Stuart Skinner in the first period, then again in the second. Florida pocketed an empty-netter in the dying seconds of the game.

"I wasn't predicting a win, but I wasn't predicting a loss," said Keegan Cooper, a Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., resident who attended Saturday's street party. "I knew it was going to be tough."

Lamar Joseph, an international student from Miami, was a spot of red amongst the Edmonton crowd Saturday, sporting a Florida Panthers jersey.

Lamar Joseph, left, was happy about the Florida Panthers' Game 1 win Saturday, despite some heckles and boos from Oilers fans.
Lamar Joseph, left, was happy about the Florida Panthers' Game 1 win Saturday, despite some heckles and boos from Oilers fans.

Lamar Joseph, left, was happy about the Florida Panthers' Game 1 win Saturday, despite some heckles and boos from Oilers fans. (Nathan Gross/CBC)

"I had a couple of people boo me, a couple of people heckle me, but at the end of the day we still came away with the win," said Joseph, who attends the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in Edmonton.

The Oilers have a reputation for failing to play well in the opening game of a playoff series. So far in this year's playoffs, their record is 2-2 in Game 1.

They have, however, split the first two games of each playoff series thus far. So Oilers fans believe the team has the Panthers in their scope.

"We want to make them think that they have something," Braun said.

Game 2 of the Stanley Cup final is Monday. Puck-drop is scheduled for 6 p.m. MT.