If you were told at the beginning of this season that Connor McDavid would not only surpass his previous career high of 100 points, but that he would also do so by scoring 11 more goals, you would probably be thinking "playoffs are going to be fun this year."
Yeah about that....
There is no other grade to give Connor McDavid another than this. He has shown he is the best player in the league. Full stop. McDavid was the only reason to watch many Oiler games this season. The fact that any team can have a 100 point player in this era and not make the playoffs is baffling.
As we delve deeper into McDavid's points his numbers get even more impressive. First off I need to say the best thing Todd McLellan did this season was playing Lucic with McDavid for half the season. It forced Connor to realize that if the puck was going to go in the net it would have to be off his own stick.
35 of McDavid's 41 goals were scored at even strength. That is more than 85% of all his goals. That is also the highest percentage of even strength goals of any player in the NHL who scored 30 or more goals last season. A higher percentage than Ovechkin, Kucherov, Malkin, anyone. McDavid is still not viewed by many as a "goal scorer" but he was better at it than anyone else last season.
The one area that McDavid did not excel in was the powerplay. He was ranked barely in the top 50 players in PP assists and does not make the top 50 cut when it came to goals. This is a fault I put squarely on the system in place more than I do on the player as no Oiler player had success in this area. McDavid finished second on the team with 5 PP goals; Draisaitl had 6.
McDavid will win his second Art Ross trophy in as many years which is an impressive feat upon itself. In my opinion he should absolutely be in the conversation for the Hart.
The Hart is a sticky subject but by definition McDavid was the most valuable player to his team. He scored 49% of the teams total goals. The production of players when he is on the ice vs when he is off the ice is drastically different. No player in the NHL was more impactful on their team than McDavid. Unfortunately because of the state of the rest of the team this will go overlooked.
What he needs to keep doing
Being Connor McDavid.
What he needs to stop doing
Allowing his coach to put Lucic and Caggiula on his line.
The best thing Connor can hope for next season
Peter Chiarelli finds him an established volume shooter who will thrive playing with Connor... while also fixing a whole bunch of other things.
McDavid is showing us what being a generational player is. He is the reason why some people think this team can get away with playing a Rattie on a top line. There is no other player in the NHL who improves those around him like #97.
Thanks for reading!
TLDR: McDavid is really really really good at hockey and he deserves better linemates.