2) Connor McDavid
When you’re hot you’re hot, but damn, Connor McDavid is streaking right now. No matter how well the team has played as a collective during this seven-game winning run, he is the number one key to it all.
When McDavid is in a zone, there’s no one better in the game. (Well there isn’t anyway in general, but you get what we mean.) After his middling — by his standards — 16 points in 16 games to begin the season, he has since totalled 20 in his last seven appearances.
This included two on Sunday afternoon, when the 26-year-old scored one of the easiest goals of his NHL career. The Devils goaltender went walkabout behind his net, Evander Kane won the puck and set up his teammate for the empty net tap in.
McDavid would return the compliment late on, as the Devils were chasing the game with the extra skater. The Oilers captain stole the puck and set up Kane for an empty netter with just over three minutes remaining, to complete the scoring at 4-1.
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The five-time Art Ross Trophy winner could have had another point, but was denied by the post during the second period. Overall though, he was at the heart of the majority of what the Oilers did offensively.
McDavid also got himself involved physically as he led the Oilers with four hits, including one which admittedly he should have got penalised on. Regardless, maybe he’s been motivated by the recent talk of his defensive game lacking.
In any event, number 97 is back and it should strike fear into the rest of the NHL. Yes there’s a long way to go and the Oilers still aren’t in a playoff spot, but they are headed in the right direction thanks to their superstar.
Thanks to his points surge, McDavid has jumped all the way up the scoring charts from outside the top 100, to tied eighth as of Monday morning. He finds himself on 36 points and is now just four behind second place and 11 behind first, with Nikita Kucherov having played five more games.