One never knows exactly what the experience will be like until actually witnessing the event. Now that it’s done, 100 points in 53 games, it reminds me of Gretzky’s 50 goals in 39 games those many years ago. That’s the thing about the all-time greats: Predicting how great they are usually falls short of even the most creative and resourceful.
The last time I had this feeling, the story of McDavid’s arduous summer of rehab was followed up with 97 points in 64 games. This year, no rehab but 100 points in 53 games for the best player on the planet. The closest non-teammate (Brad Marchand, Mitch Marner) sits 33 points away. That my friends is true dominance.
Oilers fans have enjoyed Gretzky and now McDavid. It seems likely we shall never pass this way again.
I’m proud to be writing for The Athletic, and pleased to be part of a great team with Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis. Here is our recent work.
- New DNB and Jonathan Willis: ‘It’s kind of Gretzky-like’: Oilers star Connor McDavid’s 100-point season puts him in rarified air
- Lowetide: What will Tyler Benson’s role be for the 2021-22 Oilers?
- Jonathan Willis: Oilers’ Mike Smith is putting himself in the all-time old-guy goalie conversation with a stunning season at 38
- Lowetide: Oilers’ Adam Larsson playing his best hockey with playoffs on horizon
- Lowetide: What should the Oilers do to get Kailer Yamamoto back on track?
- DNB: How Jesse Puljujarvi 2.0 is making an impact
- DNB: What are the Oilers’ pressing questions ahead of the Seattle Kraken expansion draft?
- Lowetide: Oilers complete April report card
- DNB: A 2nd Hart Trophy is firmly in Connor McDavid’s grasp
- Jonathan Willis: Which Oilers need to step up down the stretch?
- DNB: Get ready for Ryan McLeod
- Lowetide: A look at the best value contracts on the 2021 Oilers
- Lowetide: An early look at ideal Oilers’ free-agent targets for the offseason
- DNB: Re-sign Ryan Nugent-Hopkins? Free-agency targets? Oilers mailbag
- Jonathan Willis: Should the Oilers re-sign pending unrestricted free agent Tyson Barrie?
- Lowetide: Are the 2020-21 Oilers better than the 2016-17 team?
- Lowetide: Oilers’ top 20 prospects, trade deadline edition
OILERS AFTER 53 GAMES
- Oilers in 2015-16: 21-27-5, 47 points; goal differential -23
- Oilers in 2016-17: 28-17-8, 64 points; goal differential +11
- Oilers in 2017-18: 23-26-4, 50 points; goal differential -25
- Oilers in 2018-19: 23-25-5, 51 points; goal differential -19
- Oilers in 2019-20: 28-10-6, 62 points; goal differential +4
- Oilers in 2020-21: 33-18-2, 68 points; goal differential +21
Edmonton began the season 3-6-0, and is 30-12-2 since then. That’s a fantastic record, the kind of streak that teams who go deep into the playoffs compile during the regular season. The Oilers are close to a lock to play the Winnipeg Jets, and the excitement can begin to build now.
WHAT TO EXPECT IN MAY
- At home to: Calgary (Expected: 1-0-0) (Actual 1-0-0)
- On the road to: Vancouver, Vancouver (Expected: 1-1-0) (Actual 2-0-0)
- At home to: Vancouver, Vancouver (Expected 1-0-1) (Actual 1-1-0)
- On the road to: Montreal, Montreal (Expected 0-1-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
- At home to: Vancouver (Expected 1-0-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
- Expected May record: 4-2-2, 10 points in 8 games
- Actual May record: 4-1-0, 8 points in 5 games
The two Montreal games remain important at this time, and that’s good. Edmonton needs to keep up the intensity as much as possible, and while I’m at it full value to the Vancouver Canucks for being a worthy foe. I don’t think the Winnipeg Jets will be as easy a mark as they have appeared to be recently, but that’s the matchup you should want. Our friends in Muddy Water, Manitoba will be cheering for a team that is less than it should be due to injury and a curious trade deadline.
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!
Mom. What a great word. You only get one Mom because they’re so precious even the richest can’t afford two. My Mom passed several years ago and it’s taken a long time to get through this day without being emotional. The last couple of years, it’s been more smiles than tears and good memories of a kind woman with great humour and a tendency to do things that backfired in hilarious ways.
How do you repay your Mom? Can’t. What you can do is be a person your Mom can be proud of, whether she’s in heaven or on earth. Sometimes your Mom isn’t your biological Mom, but you always know who your Mom is, that’s obvious.
Mother’s Day for me is making sure my kid’s Mom is treated like royalty, a tough thing to do for a woman who wakes up and does things all day. I’m barbecuing today, we’re going to the hardware store to buy paint and the only other major item is making sure my kids remember to wish her a Happy Mother’s Day.
I always found it interesting that the one person who had enough intel on you to bury your future with any new acquaintance is the one person you can trust completely.
Call your Mom today. No excuses. I can’t and it breaks my heart. So you do it for me and all the guys who can’t dial heaven. Moms.
A FEW THOUGHTS ON MCDAVID
Connor McDavid is going to reach insane heights in the days to come and this season signals his greatness has reached a higher level. As observers of this team, we’ve discovered more this year. It seems like a tight-knit group, there’s a belief system in this group that hasn’t been here in many years, maybe since 2006.
Last night on HNIC, Elliotte Friedman spoke about negotiations that are going well in regard to a four-year extension the Oilers and Adam Larsson are pursuing. That’s a good thing from my point of view, your mileage may vary, but veterans with options choosing to stay is a positive sign.
The fuel for this positive energy is success. Edmonton has been in two postseasons since the arrival of Ken Holland and Dave Tippett. More fuel is needed and more pressure is building. I have a very good feeling about this team’s chances in the first round of the playoffs and the Oilers should be competitive against the TML or Habs.
One more thing: The decade of darkness is gone. Done. Banished to history finally by the sweet release of morning and a brand new day.
Congratulations! You made it! Nadir’s Raiders are a distant bell, a shared and tragic memory. It’s okay to smile, to ponder a bright future and to revel in accomplishments like last night. More than okay, it’s necessary. It’s a brand new day.