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Oilers, Panthers to clash in Stanley Cup Final; Real Madrid are champions of Europe

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🏒 Good morning to everyone, but especially to …

THE EDMONTON OILERS AND THE FLORIDA PANTHERS

If Connor McDavid and Stuart Skinner play like they did in Game 6, the Oilers are going to be tough to beat, shots on goal be damned. Edmonton is heading to its first Stanley Cup Final in 18 years after a 2-1 win over the Stars thanks to a sublime goal and an assist by McDavid and 34 saves on 35 shots faced by Skinner.

Edmonton’s 10 shots on goal are tied for the fewest in any playoff win in NHL history and the fewest since 1990.

  • McDavid scored in spectacular fashion just 4:17 in, dancing around and through the Stars’ defense before backhanding one past Jake Oettinger from close range.
  • Later in the first period, McDavid found an open Zach Hyman, who made no mistake with a golden chance. Both goals came on the power play; it was Edmonton’s second straight game with two power play goals. 
  • Mason Marchment scored about halfway through the third period, crashing in and powering home a rebound, but Skinner stood strong for the remainder of the game.

Skinner, who was briefly benched in the second round, was massive. But it’s hard to find the words to describe McDavid, who is up to 26 assists this postseason. Only Wayne Gretzky (three times), Mario Lemieux and Nikita Kucherov have ever had more in a single postseason.

The Oilers will meet the Panthers after Florida topped the Rangers2-1, in Game 6 on Saturday.

👍 Honorable mentions

🏀 And not such a good morning for …


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CAITLIN CLARK, ANGEL REESE AND CHENNEDY CARTER

It’s the bump/body check/cheap shot/whatever-you-want-to-call-it that has the WNBA abuzz, and it involves a couple of the league’s biggest names. Chennedy Carter fouled Caitlin Clark before the ball was inbounded Saturday, sending the No. 1 overall pick sprawling to the floor. Clark and the Fever got the last laugh, pulling out a 71-70 win, but that result very much took a backseat.

👎 Not so honorable mentions

🏆 Real Madrid win 15th UEFA Champions League title, likely to add Kylian Mbappe


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The rich get richer. And when it comes to the UEFA Champions League, Real Madrid is the richest, and it’s not even close. Los Blancos captured their 15th Champions League title — eight more than anyone else — Saturday by defeating Borussia Dortmund2-0, in the final at historic Wembley Stadium.

Real Madrid followed the script it so often has on the world’s biggest stage for elite clubs: by finding magic late. In the 74th minute, Dani Carvajal expertly nodded home off a corner kick, his first Champions League goal in nine years, proving he’s nowhere near done. Nine minutes later, Real Madrid pounced on an Ian Maatsen miscue, with Vinicius Jr. doubling the lead. CBS Sports Golazo analyst and former superstar Thierry Henry said Vini Jr. is the best player in the world.

This is what Real Madrid does. They win and win and win, often late and sometimes facing deficits and odds seemingly no other club overcomes. Long story short, we should have seen this coming, James Benge writes.

  • Benge: “When you win this much you’re a dynasty. Every one of those needs a defining trait. The Madrid of Paco Gento — whose record of six Champions Leagues is now matched by Luka Modric, Nacho, Carvajal and Toni Kroos — were the great blueprint of star collecting that came to define this club. … These men will be defined by their ability to win no matter their collective and individual struggles.”

It’s not just the veterans. With a wave of stars in their prime, Madrid’s European domination has no end in sight. Vini Jr. is 23. He and 20-year-old Jude Bellingham — who didn’t score but exemplified his team’s approach, Chuck Booth notes — were the catalysts behind Madrid’s latest title run.

They’re about to get even more help, from one of the players who can challenge Vini Jr. for world’s greatest. Kylian Mbappe is expected to announce his move from PSG to Real Madrid in the coming days, which makes Los Blancos an easy pick atop Chuck’s 2024-25 UEFA Champions League favorites.

Jonathan Johnson broke down what’s next for the champions.

  • Johnson: “Most impressive perhaps is the number of regular starters who should be back to full fitness next season with Thibaut Courtois a UCL winner again after his latest clean sheet in a final and Eder Militao as well as David Alaba also to consider. Factor in precocious young talent Arda Guler and that is effectively four as good as new signings on top of Mbappe and Endrick for Ancelotti to consider.”

It’s all coming up Real Madrid, but that’s nothing new.

⚾ New No. 1 in latest MLB Power Rankings


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There’s a new name atop Matt Snyder’s latest MLB Power Rankings, and things could get even better soon.

  • Snyder: “The Yankees have had the best rotation in the American League to this point and they’ve done that without 2023 AL Cy Young winner Gerrit Cole. Cole starts his rehab assignment Tuesday. Not only that, but they now have the best record in baseball along with the best run differential and haven’t lost a series in a month. It’s June and the best team in baseball is the New York Yankees.”

Having the top two AL MVP candidates in Aaron Judge and Juan Soto — who rank first and second, respectively, in OPS and total bases — also doesn’t hurt.

Here’s Matt’s top five:

  1. Yankees (previous: 2)
  2. Phillies (1)
  3. Dodgers (5)
  4. Orioles (4)
  5. Guardians (3)

It’s still early-ish. It’s time for those slow starts to turn into hot summers.

📺 What we’re watching Monday

Brewers at Phillies, 6:40 p.m. on MLB Network
 Giants at Diamondbacks, 9:40 p.m. on FS1

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