Connor McDavid has scored some of the greatest goals in the NHL and in his relatively short NHL career, has topped the highlight reel on hockey’s biggest and jaw-dropping goal packages. The NHL recently produced a video ranking his Top 10 plays of the 2019-20 season and looking closely at just one season for the dynamic center, it’s difficult to pick our favorites. As such, we decided to break down five of them:
Why we liked these goals wasn’t just as much about how pretty the plays were. We picked each because they demonstrate, if different ways, just how dangerous McDavid is.
Play #10: McDavid Shows Off His Defensive Prowess
Poor Ben Hutton. An NHL veteran in his first season with the Kings, Hutton should have known McDavid was extremely gifted when it came to pressuring the puck carrier and getting a takeaway. Feeling McDavid all over him, as Hutton tried to get rid of the disk, McDavid simply picked it off in the slot and worked his way in between two defenders to go roof on Jonathan Quick.
McDavid used his defensive skills to force a turnover on the Kings defenseman, then fought his way past both Hutton and Anze Kopitar to get to the goal to score. It ranks for us on this list simply because it proves he can generate goals on his own without the assistance of a pass from a teammate.
Play #8: McDavid Proves Speed Kills
As Craig Simpson said on the play-by-play of this goal. If he gets a step, you have zero chance. First, McDavid shows off his speed by flying past the Canadiens’ Phillip Danault and Shea Weber on his way to the goal. Not only did he out-speed the defence, but he was simply faster getting across the net than goaltender Carey Price who knew the entire time where McDavid was going.
McDavid is known as one of the fastest skaters in the NHL, winning the title three years in a row at the NHL All-star skills competition. Still, this play proved it wasn’t just about being faster than other skaters.
Play #6: McDavid Dances Around Doughty
There aren’t a lot of times in Drew Doughty’s NHL career that he was at a total loss of what to do on a play. In the #6 goal on the NHL’s list, McDavid showed off his impressive stick and puck handling skills by deking around the Kings star defenseman that Doughty was like a deer caught in the headlights.
The finish was something, but just re-watch this goal and watch Doughty instead of McDavid. Watching one of the better defensemen in the NHL act like he had no idea what to do is amazing.
For Oilers fans, this goal demonstrates just how little it matters what defenders McDavid is on the ice against. Anyone and at any time can be putty in his hands.
Play #2: McDavid Goes Down, Still Has Patience
In this play, Connor showed off his aggressive side when goes down to a knee while battling Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg, but still has the presence of mind to get back up to his feet while in close, stick handle about six times and go top shelf while in close.
It’s one of those goals that so few players in the NHL have the patience to make, it’s incredible that he never seems nervous or panicked. He simply waited and to the point he was almost past the goal line when he made his final move.
Play #1: McDavid Makes Rielly Look Silly
There’s a reason the NHL picked play the inside/out move McDavid does to Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly as their top goal of the season. It’s one of those plays where even the guys on the opposition bench are in utter shock at just how easy a player makes something look.
Rielly is a pretty good defenseman. On this play however, he gets burned in much the same fashion you might see a crossover dribble in the NBA send a defender off his feet, leaving a player wide open for a three-pointer.
Once McDavid dispatched of Rielly, he was wide open and merely had to beat the goaltender, which he did with a move that on its own could have made a highlight package.
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