Last night I wrote quite a blog and titled it “Connor McDavid”, but every time I went to proof read it and remove those pesky rnrn's that come up I erased the article numerous times because I switched from a Windows based node to a Mac. So out of frustration I gave up just to see a short snippet on the topic today.
In a way I'm glad it happened because I think the new title is more fitting of the 19 year old phenom.
A true champion is one who controls the game and does not let the players around him control his outcome.
At 19 Connor McDavid is a master of the game, every time he steps onto the ice he makes everyone around him better, he controls the flow, slows down the game and then like a pit viper he strikes with such speed it bedazzles not only the crowd but the opposing team and it's coaches
Connor is so good he out thinks the opposing coaching staff. Like the teams he plays against, the coaches no matter how much thought goes into a game plan they're still playing catch up and by then it's too late, Connors either assisted or scored a goal.
That's the mark of a true champion.
As of the writing and erasure of the attempted blog last night Connor McDavid sat in 7th place in the Calder race, and that's after breaking his clavicle and playing less than half the games of the likes of Panarin, Eichel and the rest of the probies.
I remember holding my breath last November 3rd when McDavid slid into the boards at the Rexall Center in Philadelphia and the feeling of deflation when he skated off the ice holding his shoulder. Right then and there we all knew it wasn't good, but after the numbness wore off I remember thinking to myself "when he comes back it wouldn't surprise me if he went on a scoring terror and won the Calder.
And he's doing it, just like he did for the Erie Otters after breaking his hand in a fight and missing a good chunk of that season.
Some of you will say "that's junior's and it can't compare to the NHL" that would fit for other players but not Connor McDavid.
Again, that’s the mark of a true champion.
Connor McDavid is second to Panarin in points per 60 minutes of play with a 3.75 average but is #1 in p.p.g. Since returning from injury. Gary Bettman's got to love it, his crown jewel returning with a vengeance with a point to prove.
Lets recap the obvious points that SHOULD factor in this:
1) McDavids playing on a bottom dwelling team unlike the other rooks with the exception of Jack Eichel. I think the Oilers suck year after year after getting 4 of 6 #1 picks because these kids are horribly mismanaged and also play as single players and not a team. Some may be suffering from maturity issues having the thought of "I'm the number one guy because I was picked 1st mentality".
2) Panarin plays on a Stanley Cup Championship team with the leagues best player on his line, if I had his speed at the ripe old age of 50 I'm sure I'd be putting up the points too.
3) McDavid solidifies those he plays with and makes them more accountable; Panarin doesn't do that for the Hawks, nor does Larkin for the Red Wings or Eichel for the Buffalo Sabres.
The facts of what McDavid does for his team and his ability to put on the blinders and put his team on his repaired shoulders should factor into the Calder race.
But I think he will be number 1 in the rookie scoring race at the end of the season, and I also think if he were not injured he would be the first 100+ pt. rookie since Ovie's 106.
McDavid has my vote for, and should be called to the podium to give his acceptance speech of the Calder Trophy, N.H.L. Rookie of the year.