Tonight the Edmonton Oilers beat the Winnipeg Jets by a score of 3-2. The usual suspects – Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl – were involved. McDavid had two assists and Draisaitl had two goals.
But, perhaps the biggest deal of the game – other than that the Oilers needed a win – was that McDavid’s first assist early in the game on a goal by Jesse Puljujarvi was McDavid’s 500th NHL point.
Other than that it’s special as a milestone, it’s also special for a couple of other reasons. First, it puts McDavid in an elite group of NHL players in history because he’s in the top 10 players who have reached the 500-point milestone the quickest. In fact, he’s the eighth fastest.
McDavid Matched Crosby’s 500-Point Milestone
To be more specific, he’s tied as the eighth fastest with another player. And that player is the great Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Imagine, these two great generational players each reaching 500 points in exactly the same game – game number 369.
Both McDavid and Crosby are generational players and, although their games are quite different, they do have some similarities. How odd – and also perfect – that both players needed the same number of games to reach 500 points.
Now, these two great players are linked together forever in the record books. I have to think that both players appreciate each other and couldn’t have been happier for that happenstance.
McDavid Emulates Crosby in Several Ways
During an interview yesterday prior to Wednesday’s game, McDavid was asked whether he thought it was weird if he would reach 500-points in the same number of games. He was also asked if he emulated Crosby.
McDavid noted, “I think that’s pretty cool. He (Crosby) is a guy that I grew up watching. He’s done a couple of other things that I’m trying to do with all his [Stanley] Cups and all that stuff.”
McDavid also noted that: “He’s (Crosby) been so successful in this league and has done everything that I want to do. He’s a great guy to follow.”
McDavid believed Crosby had “kind of done everything he’s set his mind to. He wanted to get better in face-offs and he’s done that, he wanted to score more goals and he did that. I think there is definitely lots of lessons in his game because his game has changed over the years and he does whatever he can to be successful.”
McDavid spoke about Sidney Crosby’s accomplishments before the game on Wednesday.
McDavid’s and Crosby’s Path to 500 Points
According to NHL.com, McDavid and Crosby’s careers share a number of similarities and differences. Now having played 368 games, McDavid stands at “499 points (171 goals, 328 assists), 133 even-strength goals, 341 even-strength points, 35 power-play goals, three shorthanded goals, eight overtime goals, 36 game-winning goals, and has a 14.9 percent shooting percentage.”
In Crosby’s first 368 games, he’s scored “497 points (180 goals, 317 assists), 123 even-strength goals, 284 even-strength points, 55 power-play goals, two shorthanded goals, five overtime goals, 21 game-winning goals, and had a 14.7 percent shooting percentage.”
However, one thing really is different between Crosby’s NHL experience and McDavid’s NHL experience. Crosby’s been on three Stanley Cup-winning teams – in 2009, 2016, and 2017. For McDavid, not as fortunate.
Other NHL Players Who’ve Reached 500 Points Quickly
Of those NHL players who’ve reached the 500-point milestone, Wayne Gretzky ranks first with 500 points in 234 games. Mario Lemieux ranks second with 500 points in 287 games.
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