Earlier today, in NHLTradeTalk, we wrote a post suggesting – from the Great One’s (Wayne Gretzky) point of view, the Edmonton Oilers’ current star Connor McDavid had a chance to score 100 points in this shortened season. That was before tonight’s game was played. After the game, not only does Gretzky look like a genius – which he is; but, a lot more people might push their money towards McDavid’s chances.
No one would have thought it during this condensed and game-shortened season, but Gretzky was right to have the possibility of 100 points by McDavid on his mind. There really is a chance the Oilers’ mega-star could score 100 points in this 56-game season. That’s shades of Gretzky himself in Oilers’ days of yore.
Tonight McDavid seemed to score at will against the Winnipeg Jets’ reigning Vezina Trophy winner; and, if he didn’t score on one trip down the ice he’d take another run and score the second time down – on the same shift. [That actually happened once.]
At the game’s end, McDavid had scored his third hat trick of season and the ninth regular-season hat trick (he’s had one in the postseason) of his NHL career. His Oilers’ team the Jets by a score of 6-1 in a game that wasn’t even close.
Was There a Chance the Connor Hellebuyck Would Be Pulled? Not So Much!
After a game the other night against the Toronto Maple Leafs when Jets’ head coach Paul Maurice pulled Hellebuyck after a poor start, the Jets’ goalie met the media and declared that he shouldn’t have been pulled. In fact, the Jets goalie spent some time discussing why he thought he should’ve been allowed to finish the game against the Maple Leafs after letting in three of the first six shots he faced. He didn’t like being pulled and was pleased enough to share his thoughts about it.
Tonight, even after Hellebuyck had given up a 5-0 lead to the Oilers, he was still on the ice. I suppose there’s some justice to that. Hellebuyck’s comments might also be chalked up to goaltending Karma. In retrospect, it just seems unwise to set yourself up for an even bigger fall.
The Oilers Are Now in Second Place in the North Division
Not only did the game push McDavid’s NHL-leading scoring total to 81 points in 46 games, but it also pushed the Oilers past the Jets into second place in the North Division. The simple fact this season is that the Oilers have the Jets’ number. The Jets have now lost five straight games against the Oilers, while Edmonton’s season record improved to 6-2-0 against the Jets. In those five straight losses, the Jets have only scored six goals.
McDavid Is now second the NHL goal scoring to the Maple Leafs’ Auston Matthews (34 goals) and scored his 26th, his 27th, and his 28th goals of the season late in the first period and then both as the first and as the last goal of the second period – that was his hat trick. It looked as if Hellebuyck was completely confused about what McDavid was going to do or what move he would make.
After the game, Matt Larkin (who’s a Senior Writer at The Hockey News), released this interesting and amazing statistic. In 5-on-5 play this season, the Oilers are plus-88 in scoring chances when McDavid on the ice; however, they are minus-183 without him. That’s how important McDavid is to his team!
Can McDavid Score 100 Points on the Season?
So, is Gretzky right? It seems incredible that McDavid might score 100 points during this season, but he’s got 81 points and is only in his 46th game of the season. He has 10 more games and “only” has to average two points each game. As I say, impossible – right?
By the way, McDavid was the fastest player to 80 points during a season since Mario Lemieux scored 80 in 45 games in 1996-97. That’s 25 seasons, but who’s counting?
Airplane food is scarce these days; however, McDavid had dined on the Jets’ this season. (Sorry!) During his eight games against Winnipeg during the 2020-21 season, McDavid has 19 points. There are only 19 more left to go.
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