Connor McDavid is the fastest player in the world with the puck on his stick and Oiler fans have become accustomed to seeing Connor get behind the defense to have a one on one chance against the goalie on a nightly basis. It has been typical throughout McDavid’s career to see him beat defensemen wide and cut in on the goalie but when was the last time you seen him do that?
I’ve noticed a change in McDavid’s games this season, instead of cutting in on the goalies he tends to hold on to the puck and go behind the net looking for other options (which he often finds) but it makes me wonder why he’s changed? Obviously as players age they loose a step and can no longer beat the D wide but it doesn’t look to me like McDavid has lost anything and he’s only 24 years old so he should have 5 or 6 more seasons before he starts to slow. Another possibility is that McDavid is running out of gas this season. He’s averaging 22:21 per game which is the 2nd highest TOI for forwards in the NHL but it isn’t much off his career average of 21:27 so I think he’s proven that he can play those minutes without getting fatigued.
My theory is that McDavid is thinking long term, perhaps the coaching staff convinced him or he came to the realization himself but if he gets injured this team is in major trouble. The last time I recall McDavid going wide around a D was on February 6th vs Calgary where he was tripped up by Giordano and sent crashing into Markstrom. It was very similar to the play that caused his horrific knee injury at the end of the 2019 season. I think after that play McDavid realized that the risk of injury was too great, and that holding on to the puck and looking for other options was a safer play.
In the 6 games after this play McDavid had 0 goals and 6pts which although is still a pt/game pace is a considerably lower than his 2pts/game pace before that Calgary game. I believe that its during this stretch that McDavid made the decision that he would need to make adjustments in his game to remove those high risk plays. Since that 6 game stretch McDavid has 12g 20a 32pts in 19 games and that includes the 3 pointless games against the Leafs. Great players find a way and that’s exactly what McDavid has done, he’s adjusted his game to remove the high risk play and is still producing points at an exceptional pace. Unreal!
The Oilers closed out the season last night with a 3 – 2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks in a shootout. Normally that would be a good thing but in this case the win moved the Oilers past the Blackhawks and the Rangers to finish the season in 23rd place overall or more importantly 9th last. If they had lost the game in regulation last night not only would the Sedins have left on a more positive note but the Oilers would have finished 7th last and had a better chance for a higher draft pick. Continue reading →
As a kid I loved collecting hockey and baseball cards, of course it was a bonus to get a stick of gum with them and then use the doubles in the spokes of my bicycle tires. I had no idea how much card values would skyrocket and of course most of the cards I collected in the 80’s are either lost or are in awful condition. I did manage to keep a small collection of cards from the early 90’s in good shape and have passed them down to my son, who is only 10 years old, but understands the benefits of taking care of collectibles much better than I did at the same age.
The quality of the cards today is much better than back in my days as a youngster its much easier to keep them in top condition. I recently received the new Upper Deck 2015-16 Series One card set along with the 2015-16 Connor McDavid collection with the understanding I would review them on the site and I must say they are superb.
So much has happened with the Oilers this off-season, they finally have a competent management group and coaching staff, they’ve drafted the best prospect in the past 30 years in Connor McDavid, and brought in Cam Talbot, Griffin Reinhart, Andrej Sekera, Lauri Korpikoski, Mark Letestu and Eric Gryba. Think about that. Crazy.
The Edmonton Oilers have given full control of the Oilers to Peter Chiarelli, naming him President of Hockey Operations and General Manager. Chiarelli is going to take a few weeks to assess the team and players to see exactly where his positions of strength and weakness are before making any moves, but he will make moves. Given his track record of making big trades in Boston I think we can expect a big trade or two this summer.
The weaknesses on the Oilers are pretty obvious, they need a starting goalie and they need a couple of top pairing defensemen if they want a shot at making the playoffs next season. They may have an opportunity to get a piece or two via free agency but typically that requires an overpayment and I’m not sure thats a good idea in Edmonton so I expect Chiarelli to make a couple of trades to fill these areas. Continue reading →
About the only thing the Edmonton Oilers can win in recent history is the draft lottery and they’ve done it again. Unless something really crazy happens the Oilers will select Connor McDavid with the first overall pick who has been projected to be a generational talent similar to Sydney Crosby so I thought it would be a good idea to do some comparisons.
These are stats from the draft years for Connor McDavid, Sydney Crosby, Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nail Yakupov Continue reading →