A successful birthday for Connor McDavid

A successful birthday for Connor McDavid

The spectacular Connor McDavid celebrated his 26th birthday in the best way on Friday in San Jose. He hit the 80-point table in a 7-1 landslide win for the Edmonton Oilers over the Sharks.

Number 97 is on course for his best season on the Bettman Tour. In 44 games he has already collected 37 goals and 82 points.

The last players to score 80 points in so few games were Mario Lemieux, Ron Francis and Jaromir Jagr, who accomplished the feat in 1995-96 with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Witnessing his two-goal and one-assist performance, Sharks captain Logan Couture could only applaud McDavid’s post-game skill.

“He’s always been great,” he told NHL.com. He’s the best player in the world. He does special things. It’s on a whole different level. Few players in the world can skate like he does. Looks like he won’t even touch the ice.”

True to form, McDavid displayed humility. He highlighted the playmaking talents of teammate Leon Draisaitl, accomplice to his two wins, who was also playing his 600th game in the National Hockey League.

“I got two excellent assists from [Draisaitl], so that helped, he said. I feel good, but I’m mainly thinking about our group. We’re trying to chain the good results together and take them one day at a time, a bit like the second half of last season.

Half-hearted season

Despite having four 20-goal scorers in their ranks in McDavid, Draisaitl, Zach Hyman and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, the Oilers are struggling to cling to the final season that will see playoff entry in the Conference West.

With a record of 23-18-3, the Alberta team has to settle for fifth place in the Pacific Division. She needs to be on the gas to the end of the calendar to win at least one elimination round for the second straight year since 1998.

While not perfect in the eyes of head coach Jay Woodcroft, Friday’s game is a good example of what the Oilers are capable of.

“We were lucky in a way tonight [vendredi], but we performed the task the way we wanted, he concluded. We got two points thanks to a contribution from several players in the lineup.

The Oilers could make big gains overall by getting rid of their next two opponents, both section rivals. They face the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday and the Seattle Kraken on Tuesday.