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Panthers’ Evan Rodrigues Has Great Season – Hockey Writers – Florida Panthers

The Florida Panthers are one step closer to immortality. After winning Game 3 by a score of 4-3, they took a 3-0 series lead over the Edmonton Oilers in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals tonight.

It could be argued that many of the pieces on the roster have the most impact on a team’s success. Captain Aleksander Barkov is having the best playoff season of his career with 21 points (seven goals, 14 assists) in 20 games. Gustav Forsling may be crowned the most underrated defenseman based on his performance in these contests alone, and Sergei Bobrovsky is easily the favorite to win the Conn Smythe Trophy for his performance between the pipes.

But another player also had a big impact on the ice that not many people talked about. That player is forward Evan Rodrigues, who has been electric all season making his first playoff run with the Panthers.

Rodriguez Was Awesome in the Stanley Cup Finals by himself

In the final of the Cup alone, Rodrigues has been an enigma. He scored three times on five shots between Games 1 and 2 and had an assist in Game 3.

Related: ESPN’s Stanley Cup Play-by-Play Has No Signature Voice

In addition to his point total, Rodriguez has a plus-4 rating and has cleared the puck four times. If he continues this trend, he will become the first person named Evan to have his name on the Cup.

Rodriguez Has Been Good All Postseason

Throughout the postseason, Rodriguez has been excellent. He has six goals and six assists in 20 games. His goal total makes him the fifth best in the team. Additionally, he is on a four-game hitting streak dating back to June 1 in the Eastern Conference finals against the New York Rangers.

Evan Rodrigues of the Florida Panthers celebrates after scoring a goal against the Edmonton Oilers in the third period of Game Two of the 2024 Stanley Cup Final (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

This is Rodriguez’s best single-season playoff performance in his NHL career. In 36 postseason games with the Panthers, Colorado Avalanche, and Pittsburgh Penguins, he has scored 10 goals and had 13 assists.

Rodriguez has been waiting for this moment

The 30-year-old forward has been waiting to fulfill his dream since entering the NHL. However, he is still preparing for Game 4 like he did all of last season.

“Nothing has changed in our preparation for Game 4. We have to enjoy the time we have, enjoy the plan that leads us to Game 4. We hang out with guys like us. We’ll go to the living room, relax, I’m sure there will be cards. Game 4 of the NBA Finals with the Boston Celtics and Dallas Mavericks will be on, so we’ll be watching for that. We’re going to do the same things we’ve done in every playoff game, and then we’re going to go into Game 4 and treat it like Game 4.”

Evan Rodrigues in the upcoming Game 4

He and the team close to him put themselves in a position to make history. And the best part? They still have him for three more seasons after this one.

What’s Next for the E-Rod?

The next step? Get a win and his name is etched in hockey’s holy grail. He and the Panthers can clinch the trophy as soon as tonight with one more win in Edmonton.

Related: Flyers Must Repeat Panthers’ Team Building Process

It will not only be history for the Panthers, but also for Rodriguez himself. It will be his first Stanley Cup in his 10-season career.

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