Oilers’ Connor McDavid Has 100 Assists But 1 Thing Matters More

Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers

Getty Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers

On the day the Edmonton Oilers organization stayed alive in the race to win the Pacific Division heading into the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, an individual accolade massively overshadowed the collective competitiveness of the team.

Connor McDavid notched an assist during the second period of the Oilers’ 9-2 demolition of the San Jose Sharks on April 15 becoming the fourth player in NHL history with 100 assists in a single season.

Zach Hyman, who has scored 54 goals this season, was the man tasked with putting the puck in the net after receiving it from the stick of McDavid.

By getting his 100th assist, McDavid joined a now-four-man club that features him, Wayne Gretzky (who did it 11 times), Mario Lemieux, and Bobby Orr.

“It means a lot,” McDavid told reporters after the game on April 15. “Those three, obviously, are three of the greatest players to ever play. To share a little something with them… it means a lot to me.”

For what’s worth, fellow forward and Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov can match McDavid’s historic achievement later this week, diminishing the importance of the record a bit as he is currently sitting at 99 assists with one game left in Tampa’s schedule.

Edmonton Oilers Stay in the Race for the Pacific Division Title

McDavid’s seemingly impossible achievement was the story of the day on Monday.

That said, the Oilers franchise and its fans must be happier about what the team accomplished by beating the Sharks on April 15 than for what McDavid did, as they are still in the race for a division title that could have them facing an easier path through the playoffs.

McDavid is more than aware, stating after the game: “We put ourselves in a good spot heading into when it matters most.”

Edmonton had no problem blowing the Sharks completely out of the water in a 9-2 victory that saw all Adam Henrique, Dylan Holloway (1 goal and 2 assists each), Warren Foegele (2 goals), Corey Perry, Cody Ceci, Evan Bouchard and Hyman all score goals against league-worst San Jose.

It had been a couple of rough games for Edmonton of late as the Oilers were coming off back-to-back losses in their last two games. On Monday, playing in their home arena, the Oilers finally broke that bad skid, and the team is now 11-1-2 in their last 14 games with two more contests to go.

Sharks’ goalie Devin Cooley, who was coming off saving a near-franchise-record 49 shots in his last start, allowed the Oilers to score 8 goals on 22 shots before he was pulled and removed from the game in the second period.

Backup netminder Georgi Romanov stopped 16 of the 17 shots aimed at his net during his time on the ice replacing Cooley.

McDavid and the Oilers Have Not Won the Cup Since 1990

If McDavid really wants to write his name in true golden letters in the books of NHL history, he will need to win the Stanley Cup. Clinching a place in the postseason is a fine start, and doing so by earning home-ice advantage after Monday’s win is a nice bonus.

As things stand entering play on April 16, Edmonton sits in the No. 2 seed of the Pacific Division with 104 points in 80 games. The Oilers are sandwiched by the No. 1 Vancouver Canucks (107 points) and the No. 3 Los Angeles Kings (97) in the Pacific.

The Oilers need to win their final two games if they want to stand a chance at winning the division. They also need the Canucks to lose their two final matchups. All things considered, the truth is that Edmonton will most probably finish in second place.

According to MoneyPuck’s odds, the Oilers only have a 2.2% probability of winning the Pacific Division following Monday’s results. For context, Vancouver boasts a monster 97.8% odds of doing so.

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