stats Making the Business of Life Easier

   Finance globeinvestor   Careers globecareers.workopolis Subscribe to The Globe
The Globe and Mail /
Home | Business | National | Int'l | Sports | Columnists | The Arts | Tech | Travel | TV | Wheels


  This site         Tips

  The Web Google


  Where to Find It

Breaking News
  Home Page

  Report on Business



Subscribe to The Globe

Shop at our Globe Store

Print Edition
  Front Page

  Report on Business




  Arts & Entertainment



   Headline Index

 Other Sections

  Births & Deaths






  Facts & Arguments




  Real Estate









  Food & Dining




  Online Personals

  TV Listings/News

 Specials & Series
  All Reports...


   Where to Find It
 A quick guide to what's available on the site



  Customer Service

  Help & Contact Us



 Web Site

  E-Mail Newsletters

  Free Headlines

  Globe Store New

  Help & Contact Us

  Make Us Home

  Mobile New

  Press Room

  Privacy Policy

  Terms & Conditions


McDavid does it again, but Oilers need a few more players to step up

Email this article Print this article
Saturday, October 20, 2018 – Page S5

G EDMONTON -- Connor McDavid set his first NHL record this week and just as quickly dismissed it.

Edmonton's 21-year-old captain became the first player in history to have a hand in his team's first nine goals in a season.

The individual accomplishment speaks to a troubling concern about the Oilers: His teammates have not been doing their share.

"I'm not overly proud of it and I don't think it's a statistic we should be proud of, either," he said after an overtime victory in Winnipeg on Tuesday.

McDavid pretty much beat the Jets on his own. On Thursday, in his team's belated home opener against the Boston Bruins, he set up two of Edmonton's three goals, including the overtime winner.

In the third period, he banked a remarkable pass off the boards behind the net to set up a shortlived go-ahead goal by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

"I saw it coming off the wall and started licking my chops," Nugent-Hopkins said. "All I had to do was put it in. It was an unbelievable play by Connor."

In overtime, McDavid intercepted a long pass, slipped by two Bruins defenders and snapped the puck to Leon Draisaitl, who netted a one-timer from the left side. It took all of 37 seconds in the extra period for the Oilers to win their third straight game, and second in overtime.

Edmonton coach Todd McLellan, who earlier in the week called McDavid the best hockey player on earth, suggested that he suckered the Bruins into attempting the pass that he then converted into the winning goal.

"I think he was baiting them," McLellan said. "He knows his speed and the distance he has to cover."

The Oilers returned to Rogers Place after an unusual 20,000kilometre road trip unsure of what the season would bring, beyond a bundle of points for the league's two-time scoring champion.

They began the year with losses to the New Jersey Devils in Sweden and to the Bruins in Boston, before beating the New York Rangers and Jets.

McDavid scored twice and had two assists in Tuesday in the 5-4 win over the Jets, the NHL's toughest team to beat at home.

The overtime winner by Darnell Nurse was the only goal in the first four games McDavid didn't play a role in.

Through five games, he has been part of 11 of his team's 13 goals. With four goals and seven assists he is off to another roaring start, even if he has been overshadowed by Auston Matthews of the Maple Leafs. Fans in the Centre of the Hockey Universe say Matthews is better, but that opinion is not widely held outside of Toronto.

"Connor McDavid has put up back to back 100-point seasons," Mark Scheifele, the Winnipeg centre, said earlier this week. "He has done a lot that Matthews hasn't.

"Auston is a star and is going to get better, but he is not at McDavid's level yet."

McDavid has begun the year skating through and around opponents as if they weren't there.

He is LeBron James with a hockey stick. Defenders know he is coming, but they are unable to stop him.

The pass off the boards on Nugent-Hopkins' power-play goal was a new trick. When you think you have seen everything, McDavid shows you something else.

The Oilers have never played a home opener at such a late date and looked out of sorts at the beginning. They had only one shot in the first 11 minutes and were outshot 12-5 in the first period.

They could have easily been down by a goal or two if not for excellent play by Cam Talbot.

"Without Cam's performance in the first period, we wouldn't have had a chance," McLellan said. Talbot ended up with 27 saves in his fifth straight start.

The good news for the Oilers is that some of McDavid's teammates are slowly starting to show up. After David Krejci gave Boston a 1-0 lead in the second, Kailer Yamamoto responded with his first NHL goal for the Oilers two minutes later. He took a nice pass from Adam Larsson and spun away from a defender before beating Jaroslav Halak over the glove.

"Words can't describe how it feels," Yamamoto, 20, said. He is a 153-pound winger of Japanese and Hawaiian heritage.

Nugent-Hopkins's goal was his second of the year. He is finally settling in on McDavid's left flank and now has six points on the season.

Draisaitl's goal was his second so far and the Oilers also got assists from Kris Russell and Oscar Klefbom. It is not a damburst by any means, but it is the sign of life beyond McDavid that Edmonton has been looking for.

"The Bruins are a really good team," Larsson said. "They bring a lot to the table, but for the most part I thought we did a good job against them. We are a hungry team and these wins are very important for us at the start of the season. We are off to a good one."

So the Oilers survived an early blitz by Boston and escaped with a win before a sell-out crowd.

They are 3-2; at this point last year they had only one win. Despite McDavid's wizardy, they missed the playoffs for the 10th time in 11 years.

They are looking better, but have a long way to go. Five of their next six games are against teams that made the playoffs: the Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, Minnesota Wild and two against the Nashville Predators.

Dating back to last season, McDavid has scored 30 goals in his last 35 games. He is on the ice more than any NHL forward at nearly 24 minutes a game. He's consistently winning faceoffs now, the weakest part of his game in his first three seasons. He can still carry the team. He still surprises. All he needs is a little help from his friends.

Associated Graphic

Edmonton's Oscar Klefbom, left, Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl celebrate the Oilers' overtime win against the Boston Bruins on Thursday.


Huh? How did I get here?
Return to Main Marcus_Gee Page
Subscribe to
The Globe and Mail

Email this article Print this article

space  Advertisement

Need CPR for your RSP? Check your portfolio’s pulse and lower yours by improving the overall health of your investments. Click here.


7-Day Site Search

Breaking News

Today's Weather


Rick Salutin
Merrily marching
off to war
Roy MacGregor
Duct tape might hold
when panic strikes

Where Manley is going with his first budget



For a columnist's most recent stories, click on their name below.


Roy MacGregor arrow
This Country
Jeffrey Simpson arrow
The Nation
Margaret Wente arrow
Hugh Winsor  arrow
The Power Game

Rob Carrick arrow
Personal Finance
Drew Fagan arrow
The Big Picture
Mathew Ingram arrow
Brent Jang arrow
Business West
Brian Milner arrow
Taking Stock
Eric Reguly arrow
To The Point
Andrew Willis arrow

Stephen Brunt arrow
The Game
Eric Duhatschek arrow
Allan Maki arrow
William Houston arrow
Truth & Rumours
Lorne Rubenstein arrow
 The Arts

John Doyle arrow
John MacLachlan Gray arrow
Gray's Anatomy
David Macfarlane arrow
Cheap Seats
Johanna Schneller arrow

Murray Campbell arrow
Ontario Politics
Lysiane Gagnon arrow
Inside Quebec
Marcus Gee arrow
The World
William Johnson arrow
Pit Bill
Paul Knox arrow
Heather Mallick arrow
As If
Leah McLaren arrow
Generation Why
Rex Murphy arrow
Japes of Wrath
Rick Salutin arrow
On The Other Hand
Paul Sullivan arrow
The West
William Thorsell arrow

Home | Business | National | Int'l | Sports | Columnists | The Arts | Tech | Travel | TV | Wheels

© 2003 Bell Globemedia Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Help & Contact Us | Back to the top of this page