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McDavid: Falling short in Cup Final 'sucks'

Bruce Bennett / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid was understandably succinct in summing up his feelings after falling short in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final.

"It sucks, yeah," he said.

The Oilers admirably rallied from a 3-0 series deficit against the Florida Panthers, but the Cardiac Cats held on with a 2-1 victory Monday night to secure their first Stanley Cup championship in franchise history.

"You knew it was gonna be tight, you know, Game 7 for the Cup. ... It's tough. They did a good job of shutting things down," McDavid said. "We had our looks, just didn't find it."

McDavid technically didn't go home empty-handed as he won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player in the postseason, but it wasn't the hardware he wanted.

"I guess an honor with the names on that trophy, but," the superstar said, trailing off.

McDavid is now the sixth player in NHL history to hold the mantle of playoff MVP as a member of the losing side. He didn't return to the ice to accept the trophy.

"I don't think he cares (about winning the Conn Smythe)," Leon Draisaitl said. "It speaks to how amazing of a hockey player he is. But no player in the world that wants to win a Stanley Cup more than him. He does everything right every single day just to win it one day. It's really hard, especially him being sad, being disappointed at the end."

"He's the greatest player to ever play in my books," he continued. "So many things that a lot of people don't see that he does. His work ethic, he singlehandedly turned our franchise around pretty much. Just love sharing the ice with him. He's a really really special person."

Despite the sting of defeat, McDavid said he was "proud" of the resiliency his team showed all year.

Edmonton was tied for last place in the league in November before a coaching change helped the team climb its way out of the basement and into the Stanley Cup Final.

"We were behind the eight ball almost immediately," McDavid said with a chuckle. "We fought an uphill climb for months and months and months. It just sucks."

He added: "We were right there. Right there."

Draisaitl, meanwhile, said he hopes his team can take something positive from the disappointing loss.

"I think for the most part, it's just learning lessons, right?" he said. "We've done that over the last couple of years very well and implemented those lessons. But it's tough to drag a lesson out of this one when you're really one shot or two shots away from accomplishing everything."

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