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Photo Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

100 X 2?

Just as many of you have done in recent weeks, I was wondering out loud on Twitter Thursday evening after the Edmonton Oilers beat the Colorado Avalanche 7-4 in Denver if Connor McDavid might hit 100 points in his bid for the Art Ross Trophy as NHL scoring champion.

With two assists in the sloppy win over the Avalanche, McDavid upped his season totals to 26-61-87 with eight games to play. I suggested the century mark was within reach. Not a sure thing, not even likely, but “within reach,” as in a possibility. I did so without running a spreadsheet.

The comment drew a lot of responses, including this one from Jasper Place football coach Tyler Broska:

To which I replied:

You get the drift.

CAN CONNOR DO IT?

It’s taken awhile, but I’m up to speed on the contrarian approach on Twitter. The wet-blanket thing. The say-the-opposite thing. If I say it’s day, you say it’s night. If I say it’s black, you say it’s white. Mix in some sarcasm and a lot of honest debate, which makes the whole thing fun, and you get some great back-and-forth.

Will McDavid hit 100 points this season? I don’t know and neither do you. We’re all guessing and projecting one way or another. Is it possible? Sure, even if the straight math on what he’s done through 74 games this season – 1.18 points per game – says he’ll come up short. Then again, McDavid just reeled off 13 points in eight games so . . . Likely? I wouldn’t go that far.

In the end, whether McDavid hits 100 points or not takes a backseat to the possibility he might. After 10 years of seeing this team run in place as a group and as individuals, we’ve finally got a playoff race and a scoring race to contemplate. From where I sit, that’s a welcome aside from the last 10 stretch drives, when the Oilers weren’t within a $5 cab ride of those conversations.

The Oilers haven’t had a 100-point player since Doug Weight turned the trick in 1995-96 with 25-79-104. They haven’t had an Art Ross winner since 1986-87 when Wayne Gretzky copped the silverware again with 183 points. Many of you reading this weren’t even born when that happened, so it goes without saying it’s been awhile.

McDavid could manage both feats this season. Maybe he goes one-for-two. I’ll take watching how it unfolds one way or another over reading or writing more draft lottery stories any day. For the record, I guessed McDavid would finish with 99 points the other day on the Jason Gregor Show. What say you?

THE TEAM THING

Jan 21, 2017; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers goalie Laurent Brossoit (1) celebrate win with center Connor McDavid (97) and center Mark Letestu (55) after the game against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. Edmonton Oilers won 7-3. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

With the win over Colorado, the Oilers are 40-25-9 for 89 points. Like 100 points for McDavid, 100 points for the Oilers is within reach. Far from a sure thing. Maybe not even likely, but possible. They start taking a run at the 11 they’ll need to get there in a rematch with the Avalanche tonight.

I see six of those 11 points in the encore with Colorado and in two games against the Vancouver Canucks. As for the other five, they’ll have to come in two games against Los Angeles and San Jose and in a game against the Anaheim Ducks, who just beat the Oilers 4-3 last Wednesday.

The Oilers haven’t hit 100 points in the standings since 1986-87 when they finished with 106 with a record of 50-24-6. The Oilers have had 100-or-more points six times (all of those coming in their first eight seasons) with 106, 119, 109, 119, 106 and 111. I didn’t arrive in Edmonton until 1989, so I missed every one of them. I’ll be here for this one – I say they hit 100. You?

WHILE I’M AT IT

  • If McDavid reaches 100 points he’ll become the eighth player in franchise history to do it. Gretzky did it nine times, Jari Kurri did it six times, Mark Messier managed it five times and Paul Coffey and Glenn Anderson did it three times each. Weight and Jimmy Carson did it once.
  • Gretzky has nine of the top-10 point totals in franchise history, including four seasons when he had 200-or-more points – 215, 212, 208 and 205.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

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  • O.C.

    Yep, possible. When the Oil are focused on this last 20 game playoff drive, it has a funny byproduct. Goals.

    Might even cause some cap concerns with Leon’s bonus structure.

    Nice problems to have.

  • wiseguy

    It may come down to whether Connor gets rested for a few games at the end of the year. If our playoff position is already determined, do you keep playing him or do you reduce his minutes or games to avoid injury or wearing him out?

  • Thumby

    What is nuts is that I don’t think he’s had a night where everything went in…I mean he could have had a few games where he got 5 or 6 points and “only” got 3… one of these 7 goal games he’s going to be in on all 7 and could make a huge leap towards the century mark. As for the Oilers, 100 pts would have been easy except for the Monster being our backup earlier in the season. I think he dumped at least 2 games for us that we should have won (thinking about Philly and Ottawa)..

  • OriginalPouzar

    Sure, it would be great for Connor to reach 100 points and win the Art Ross, however, individual success of any player, even Connor, is materially behind team success as far as importance to me.

    Frankly, its a better sign when we win games and weren’t reliant on Connor to lead the offence and/or Talbot to steal the game – team wins.

    • toprightcorner

      Your probably right, but it is also stupid pt/g didn’t matter in the Calder voting last year.

      Crosby is only scoring .03 more pt/g than McDavid.

      PIT will end up with with around 8 more pts this year then last year, the Oilers will end up with around 30 more pts and break a 10 year playoff drought.

      The PIT top 5 scorers combine for 317 pts, the Oilers only 273.

      The Oilers have improved significantly more with a lot less help from other players. If Crosby missed the entire season, they likely still make the playoffs, if McDavid missed the entire season, they likely get a lottery draft pick.

      Maybe Conner has to break someones finger and crush someones nuts to get a few extra votes.

  • R U Kidding Me!

    100 points, Art Ross and the Hart for the trifecta? All the while leading the way to 1st in the division. Followed by 4 gruelling playoff matches all the way to raising the Cup for the 6th time.

    With Connor and Talbot, why not? In 06 we had a team in the the finals that was not as talented so why couldn’t they do it. It would be the greatest single season turnaround in sports history.

    And after the last 10 years, I think we deserve it.

  • Despite having 1 more game vs the Ducks and 2 vs the Sharks…1 more vs Colorado and 2 more vs the Canucks offset that.

    I.e. 3pt nights vs weaker teams and 1pt nights vs strong ones is conceivable.

    But I see these games being tight ones with a ton of checking, little room to move, etc. where the Sharks and Ducks will do everything to hold Connor off the score sheet.

    But because the Oilers playing struggling teams, I no longer see it as an impossibility. Unlikely, but there’s a window of chance.

  • Pouzar99

    Has anybody noticed how the Toronto Sports Network pundits keep insisting that Crosby should win the Hart Trophy even though he has six less points than McDavid because he missed seven games with a concussion. Yet they insist even louder that Auston Matthews MUST win the Calder even though his arch rival Patrick Laine also missed 7 games with a concussion and still leads Matthews by a point in scoring. The Professional Hockey Writers association will do the voting, the same geniuses who voted in Ovechkin as the first star right wing and the second star left wing (or was it the other way around?) in the same season and voted for Shane Gostesphere (sp?) over McDavid last year for second in the Calder race. No one mentions that Crosby has only got a point on 34.4% of the Pens goals, while Connor has got a point on 40.4% of the Oiler goals, and yes I didn’t count the Penguins goals scored when Crosby was out with an injury. Sid is a great player but the Hart Trophy is supposed to go to the player who is most valuable to their team and that person is Connor McDavid. Depending on what the 2 players do in the final 8 games, of course.

  • M22

    That’s a pretty short cab ride, Robin, considering we’ve needed a bullet train to be even close to those convos. Anyway, your point is bang on – so nice for the Oil to finally retire the badge of shame. Thanks Bob, thanks Peter!