Just a quick little piece today in case any reader needs a “dog days of summer” reminder of just how great Connor McDavid is and how sensational his 2017/18 season was.
We all know that McDavid, once again, won the Art Ross Trophy as the leading scorer in the National Hockey League. He accumulated 108 points, 6 more than second place Claude Giroux.
The 41 goals McDavid scored is impressive for a pass-first player but even moreso when one remembers that he really didn’t start shooting the puck until the last 3rd of the season. It’s like he just decided he wanted to score more goals. He finished the season at 1.34 G/60 at 5 on 5 but, for the last 20 games of the season, he was scoring goals at a rate of 2.15 G/60 and 2.3 G/60 in the last 10 games.
Its no secret that the Oilers struggled on the power play last year, it was really awful. The Oilers not only drew the least amount of penalties in the league but they were 31st, dead last, in the NHL when they did get the man advantage. While McDavid led the league in overall scoring, he was 69th in the NHL in power play points.
On the other hand, many fans, bloggers, experts, coaches, managers, etc. but more stock in to the ability to produce points at even strength over producing on the power play and McDavid’s season at even strength borders on historic.
McDavid, of course, led the league in even strength points with 84 which is 16 more than the 2nd place finisher, Claude Giroux. That is a staggering gap. When you look back through the years, McDavid’s 84 even strength points was the most this century, more than Henrik Sedin’s 83 points in 2009/10 and Jaromir Jagr’s 78 points in 2000/01.
Let us not forget, McDavid produced these historic numbers with a revolving door of wingers including significant time with tweeners and career AHLer such as Drake Caggulia and Ty Rattie. Not to mention, McDavid being horribly ill in the fall for the better part of a month.
McDavid’s ability to produce during the toughest minutes with middling linemates is nothing short of staggering.