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Connor McDavid Getting Closer to 100 Points in 56 Games

Connor McDavid Getting Closer to 100 Points in 56 Games

“The maturity that he’s shown this year, he’s gone to an even higher level,” Gretzky told The Athletic, referring to McDavid. “And I don’t just mean in points. His physical play is much higher than it’s been in the past. His body language is that he doesn’t want to lose, and it’s infectious throughout the hockey club. Pundits have started calling younger players, like the second-year player Jack Hughes of the New Jersey Devils, “the next McDavid.” The next Gretzky?


McDavid is fast on the ice and remarkably dexterous. But for some hockey fans, that would not be enough. They are wowed by skill and truly revere those who can add at least some rough play. Gretzky is not the only one who has noted McDavid’s physicality. McDavid delivered a punishing hit on Jesperi Kotkaniemi of the Montreal Canadiens in March, driving his elbow into Kotkaniemi’s shoulder and jaw. He received a fine but not a suspension. The incident prompted tut-tutting from some corners, though nary a corner in Edmonton.

If there is a knock on McDavid’s season, it involves the quality of his competition. In this unusual N.H.L. season, teams only play others within their division, and the Oilers are in the all-Canadian North division. It’s hard to gauge precisely how robust each division is, with so many usual opponents unmet. Last season, the best Canadian team, the Oilers were just the eighth-best team in the league. And no Canadian team has made the Stanley Cup finals in 10 years or won it in 28.

“I think my expectations of myself exceed any of those that are put on me. McDavid has been playing hockey since he was four and has been heralded across the continent since he was 13. The Oilers took him No. 1 in the N.H.L. draft, and he was immediately anointed as the savior who would rescue a team that, once a dynasty winning five Stanley Cups from 1983 to 1990, had missed the playoffs for nine straight years.

McDavid said at the time. The Oilers have made the playoffs twice in McDavid’s tenure and have an 8-9 record. They look to be getting the second seed in the North this season, and potential first- and second-round series against the Jets, Canadiens, or Maple Leafs seem winnable. In a game on Thursday night against the Vancouver Canucks, McDavid needs seven points in five games to reach 100. Barring injury, he looks likely to get there and beyond. He has scored a point in 40 of 51 games this season, has 24 points in his last ten games, and has 12 in his previous five.


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