5 questions Oilers need to answer during 6-game homestand

Nov 28, 2023; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid (97) celebrates after scoring a goal during the second period against the Vegas Golden Knights at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 28, 2023; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid (97) celebrates after scoring a goal during the second period against the Vegas Golden Knights at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports /
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Edmonton Oilers Connor McDavid
Nov 26, 2023; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid (97) celebrates after scoring a goal against the Anaheim Ducks during the first period at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports /

3) Will McDavid continue to surge up scoring charts?

It’s been a season like no other for Connor McDavid, in respect of the adversity and negativity he’s faced. He has dealt with an injury absence, poor results leading to unjustified criticism from so-called fans, and even controversy surrounding his weekend induction into the Canada Walk of Fame.

In reality, at the core of all this was McDavid’s individual productivity, or lack thereof. Such are the expectations, that 16 points in his first 16 games of this campaign was considered not good enough.

Objectively you can appreciate this to a certain extent, when we’re talking about the best player in the game today. The five-time Art Ross Trophy winner was also coming off a season when he scored the most points by a player since Mario Lemieux in 1995-96.

Regardless, the recent game in Washington, D.C., marked a turnaround in McDavid’s fortunes. He recorded four assists in the 5-0 shutout of the Capitals, for his first game this season with more than two points.

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The six-time All-Star then followed this up with another four assists — as well as a goal of his own — in the dominating 8-2 win versus the not-so mighty Ducks. His performance was also noteworthy for seeing him move up to third place in Oilers history, with 39 three-plus assist games.

McDavid was subsequently named NHL First Star for the week ending Nov. 26, but there was still more to come. He added another three points in the 5-4 shootout win against the Golden Knights, while also notching the Oilers’ first goal in the shootout.

The performance versus last season’s Stanley Cup champions also marked the 26-year-old achieving something not seen in 28 years. As per Ryan Gaydos of Fox Sports, he became the first player since Lemieux in his aforementioned 1995-96 season, to have three-point periods in three consecutive games.

By comparison McDavid ‘only’ had one assist in the 3-1 win against the Jets, but overall he has shot 100 places up the scoring charts and now sits at tied 12th overall on 29 points. If he continues his recent surge in this homestand, he has a good chance to be in the top five for points at the conclusion of the sixth game.