The best moment of McDavid’s NHL career was debated
Connor McDavid is expected to play his 500th NHL game when the Edmonton Oilers take on the Washington Capitals at Capital One Arena on Monday (8 p.m. ET, SN, TVAS, NBCSWA, ESPN+, SN NOW).
In his first 499 NHL games, the Oilers center has 721 points (251 goals, 470 assists). The 25-year-old has won the Art Ross Trophy, awarded annually to the player who leads the NHL in points, four times and won the Hart Trophy, awarded to the league’s MVP, twice.
But it’s more than numbers and awards. The No. 1 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft has provided more highlight plays to account for in his NHL career. But which one stands out the most?
We asked a panel of NHL.com writers for their favorite McDavid moment through his first 499 games. Here are their answers.
Never forget your first
McDavid has come up with so many outstanding targets that it’s hard to pick just one. So instead of trying to do that, I went with #1, as in his first career NHL goal. It was against the Dallas Stars on October 14, 2015. For all the dazzle he’s shown throughout his career, this one was pretty basic for him: Oilers defenseman Andrej Sekera shot from about yards below the blue line and McDavid redirected. the shot from the left circle. Like Hockey Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky and Pittsburgh Penguins forward Sidney Crosby, McDavid scored his first goal in his third career NHL game. It’s incredible company for a player whose greatness has been evident from the start. — Tracey Myers, staff writer
He’s back with a vengeance
I’ve always admired McDavid’s ability to let the puck do the work, releasing it for a split second before retrieving it at the right moment and weaving its way to the opposing goaltender for that magical moment. He did it against the Columbus Blue Jackets on February 2, 2016 to deliver a goal I will never forget. It came in his return to the lineup after missing the previous 37 games due to a broken left collarbone suffered three months earlier. It was the decisive goal in the 5-1 victory and came at 9:58 of the second period. McDavid, 19 years old at the time, took the puck at center ice, ran into the Columbus zone (releasing the puck for a second after crossing the blue line), split between defenders. Jack Johnson and Justin Falk, and then goalie dek Joonas Korpisalo before sliding the puck into an open net. He received a standing ovation during the goal celebration. “ — Mike G. Morreale, staff writer
McDavid’s goals get a lot of attention, but his assists are also pretty amazing. One I will always remember is an assistant in a Pat Maroon goal against the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center on Oct. 19, 2017. McDavid skated toward the Blackhawks goal with speed, drawing defensemen Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook toward him. McDavid faked a shot, dragged and curled the puck, returned it to his right, did a spin-o-rama, then backhanded it to a wide open Maroon who chipped it past the goalie. Anton Forsberg. The goal tied the game 1-1 at 17:18 of the first period. Edmonton won 2-1 in overtime on a goal by Mark Letestu, assisted by Oscar Klefbom and McDavid. — William Douglas, staff writer
Winning the Battle
McDavid began shaking his fists as he skated toward center ice. He had just scored an overtime winner, on a shot off the post, not uncommon for the otherworldly star. But this one meant so much more. At 5:03 of overtime in Game 5 of the Western Conference Second Round on May 26, 2022, McDavid had buried the goal that would send the Oilers to the conference finals for the first time since 2006, with the chance to compete for the Stanley. cup And not only that, he had done it against the Calgary Flames in the last installment of the Battle of Alberta. Although the Oilers would get swept in the Western Conference Finals, it was a step forward for McDavid and the biggest goal (so far) of his career. — Amalie Benjamin, writer
The joy of six
It was one of those games where everything McDavid touched seemed to turn to gold. By the end of the first period, he had two goals and two assists, and the Oilers had a 4-1 lead on the Colorado Avalanche. McDavid added another goal and an assist in the second period for his second hat trick in three games and the first six-point game of his career in a 6–2 win at Rogers Place on November 14, 2019. With six points in two. periods, it looked like McDavid might be on his way to matching or surpassing it Sam Wineight-point game with the Oilers against the Blackhawks on Feb. 2, 2012. But the Oilers took their foot off the gas in the third, with McDavid playing 4:14 and on a power play with a chance to add- the bear. his total (Edmonton was 4-for-6 for the game). It was still a memorable night (Leon Draisaitl had five assists) and another chapter in McDavid’s growing legend. — Tom Gulitti, staff writer
Even McDavid couldn’t believe what he did. That’s how good it was, his goal against the New York Rangers on November 5, 2021. The Rangers had a 5-4 lead in the third period, the clock was bleeding, approaching less than three minutes to play. Edmonton Defense Tyson Barrie A shot rang off the post and the puck went to the right spot, where McDavid caught it. Instead of immediately going back up, he brought the puck into the neutral zone, looked up, reset, waited and then took off. Dryden Hunt he reached out with his cane. McDavid avoided control. Jacob Furn achieved McDavid avoided. He hung outside inside Julien Gauthier. At this point, Kevin Rooney he was standing straight-legged behind McDavid, a spectator. Gauthier arrived. Too late. McDavid hit a forehand and Alexander Georgiev I had no shot. That was beautiful, McDavid soloing his way through four Rangers to score. And the look on his face said it all. “I was a little surprised,” McDavid said on the NHL @TheRink podcast. “I just tried to make my play. That’s what I did.” That’s all. extraordinary Oh, and Edmonton won 6-5 in overtime. — Dan Rosen, Senior Writer
Believe the hype
My colleagues have many of McDavid’s highlights covered, so I’ll step away and admire his work. McDavid faced the highest expectations even before the Oilers selected him No. 1 in the 2015 NHL Draft. He was touted as the next generational talent and compared to Crosby. Well, he’s lived up to it, maybe even surpassed it, if that’s possible. Is there any comparison for McDavid’s unique combination of skill and speed? In 499 regular season NHL games, he has 721 points. He has won the top scorer title four times. Three times, he has been voted as the most outstanding player by his teammates. Twice, he has been voted Most Valuable Player by the writers, and has been a finalist for the award twice more. Oh, and in 37 games in the Stanley Cup playoffs, he has 55 points (21 goals, 34 assists). Pure dominance, and he still has a long way to go. — Nicholas J. Cotsonika, columnist
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