Connor McDavid responds to punch from Matthew Tkachuk.

Connor McDavid responds to punch from Matthew Tkachuk.

Connor McDavid addresses the punches he took from the Florida Panthers in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Jonathan Larivee

I don't think any of us could have predicted what transpired in Game 4 of the 2024 Stanley Cup Final, the most lopsided victory ever by a team facing elimination in the history of the Stanley Cup Final.

The Edmonton Oilers sent a clear message that they weren't out of the fight just yet with a dominant 8-1 victory over the Florida Panthers, but despite the lopsided scoreline the Panthers did look to send a message of their own throughout the contest.

Members of the Panthers took liberties with some of the Oilers top stars, including a series of punches to the face of Oilers captain Connor McDavid courtesy of both Panthers forwards Sam Bennett and Matthew Tkachuk. The infraction would land both men in the penalty box, but I don't think either man cared at that point down 5-1 already in the second period.

Tkachuk would first deliver a series of short uppercuts from in close:

And Bennett would follow up with a stiff jab of his own to the face of the Oilers captain:

When asked for his thoughts on the situation Tkachuk didn't shy away from the fact that he had delivered the blows but was entirely unapologetic, and as you might expect McDavid would face similar questions following Game 4.

"I didn't throw very many punches," said McDavid with a smile. "That's not the game I wanna play, that's not my job to really do, I'm just there to make sure no one is getting outnumbered. I thought Hyman was getting doubled up on by Bennett and Tkachuk and I just tried to jump in there and do my part as a teammate. Everybody has got to jump in there in those moments."

McDavid did in fact play his game on Saturday night, picking up a goal and 3 assists on his way to a 4 point night in which he surpassed Wayne Gretzky's single season record for assists in the playoffs. McDavid's 32 assists are 1 better than the previous record of 31 established by Wayne Gretzky when he was himself a member of the 1988 Edmonton Oilers.

McDavid will get the chance to add to that total in Game 5 on Tuesday night, something the Panthers will once again be looking to disrupt.