Connor McDavid February award serves as warning to rest of NHL

While missing out on February's First Star, Connor McDavid arguably was the NHL's best player during the month, which is excellent news for the Edmonton Oilers.

Boston Bruins v Edmonton Oilers
Boston Bruins v Edmonton Oilers / Codie McLachlan/GettyImages
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The Oilers may have followed up an unbeaten January with just a 6-5-1 record last month, but there's still plenty to like if you're an Edmonton Oilers fan. For a start, the team remains well-placed in the Pacific Division due to the Vancouver Canucks and Vegas Golden Knights actually both being slightly less consistent during February.

However, more encouraging is that the NHL's best player showed exactly why he has that label, with his most productive month yet in 2023-24. As a result, as per NHL Public Relations via NHL.com, Connor McDavid was awarded the league's Second Star for February.

Auston Matthews took home the NHL's First Star, thanks to continuing his phenomenal scoring year with 13 goals and 20 overall points in 12 games. More importantly, the Leafs went 9-3-0 and solidified their playoff chances.

Did the right player get the First Star?

However, you can still make an argument that McDavid could have just as easily been awarded the NHL's First Star. Consider that he produced 27 points -- similarly to Matthews in 12 games -- which was six more than any other player in the NHL.

This included an eye-popping 25 assists for the 27-year-old. For some context, as per NHL.com, he became the first player to collect at least 25 assists in a month since Mario Lemieux, all the way back in December of 1992.

The barrage of helpers during February also helped McDavid become the fourth-quickest player in NHL history to reach 600 assists. (Behind Wayne Gretzky, Lemieux and Bobby Orr.) In addition, as we noted on Friday, he is currently projected to also become just the fourth player to reach 100 points in a season.

What should really have Oilers fans excited though, is that the seven-time All-Star's February shows that he's really beginning to heat up. His campaign break down as follows:

MONTH

GAMES

GOALS

ASSISTS

POINTS

October

6

2

7

9

November

14

6

14

20

December

12

5

14

19

January

11

7

12

19

February

12

2

25

27

Now we appreciate that just two goals isn't exactly impressive. In fact, February did also include McDavid equalling the longest goal-scoring drought of his career, at 10 games.

At the same time though the goals still kept flowing for the Oilers, with it actually being the defensive game which let them down during February. This team is still one of the most dangerous scoring units in the NHL, which their captain as usual leading the charge.

In this respect it doesn't matter who's scoring the goals, and the Oilers are undoubtedly going to continue getting plenty of looks with McDavid on call to set up the chances. Zach Hyman is certainly a quality top-six forward, but he doesn't reach a career-high 40 goals -- and counting-- this season, if he isn't playing alongside number 97.

Next. Connor McDavid's quest for history with the Oilers. Connor McDavid's quest for history with the Oilers. dark

Following on from the worst ever start in franchise history through 12 games, the Oilers have charged up the standings. They're in a strong position and still have games in hand on every other team in a playoff position in the Western Conference at the time of posting.

Yes coach Kris Knoblauch has played a significant role in this surge since taking over from Jay Woodcroft, but his influence would be not as impactful if McDavid hadn't returned to the form he displayed during his career year last season. He remains the main reason why the Oilers have a chance at winning their first Stanley Cup since 1990, with his February serving as a warning to the rest of the NHL.

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