After last night’s dominant performance, I felt like we could all use another look at Connor McDavid’s first ever four-goal night. I’ll give you a minute to sit down or whatever it is that you need to do to prepare yourself mentally and physically.
Before we get started, I just wanted to take a second to remind everyone that Connor McDavid is an Edmonton Oiler. Sometimes, especially after games like he had last night, I feel the need to pinch myself to make sure that what we’ve witnessed is, in fact, real life. I know this is Connor’s third season as an Oiler but seeing him grab a game by the balls just never gets old, and I don’t think I’ll get tired of watching him do his thing. When he’s on his game, I would defy you to find a player that can single-handedly take over quite like he can. The guy is worth the price of admission every single night.
Now, enough of me, let’s get to the goals.
JUST THE TIP
Who would have expected the Oilers to open the scoring with a power play goal? Not me. I wouldn’t have even bet Gregor’s money on it, but taking a lead as a result of their special teams was exactly what happened. Ryan Strome, noted power play specialist, made a crisp pass from the half boards into the slot that Connor got his stick on to beat Vasilevsky and give the Oilers an early lead. Call it hand-eye, call it whatever you want, Connor slipped into a quiet spot in the defensive coverage and executed the tip perfectly.
THREADING THE NEEDLE
I’ve watched this highlight 43,000 times and I still don’t know how he got the puck in the net. After picking the puck up at the blue line and charging down the left side of the ice, I was sure that Connor was going to take the puck around the net and look to set up a trailing man. Instead, he was able to elevate his shot and fit the puck through a pinhole over Vasilevsky’s shoulder from what was basically the goalline. It still doesn’t make sense. The guy bends the laws of physics and I predict that scientists will come from all over the world just to study the McMagic. Great goal. Unreal finish. Holy hell that was beautiful, and I’m pretty sure I ripped a hole clean through me trousers.
I love this goal because it was a product of pure rocket man tactics that only Connor McDavid can pull off. Nikita Kucherov made a pass back to Sergachev and when he couldn’t handle it cleanly, Connor had all the time and space he needed to disappear. Once McDavid picked the pass off at the blue line, Sergachev had no chance at catching. Frankly, the only thing Sergachev could have done to try and avoid the goal was to chuck his stick like a spear and hope that McDavid went down. I mean, spear defence only works in big game hunting but what other option was there? It’s not like catching Connor McDavid in a footrace is ever going to work out for you. Amazing speed, great finish, and an impressive shower of hats to complete the trifecta.
GOTTA BE LUCKY TO BE GOOD
Last night just seemed like one of those nights where anything that could go right for Connor was going to go right. Case and point was his fourth goal of the night where he was able to find the back of the net without even taking a shot — that’s talent. A secondary shout out goes to Chris Kunitz for charging hard to the net and making sure he was in the best possible position to score. Had he not been hustling the way he was, we wouldn’t have seen Connor’s first ever four-goal game and for that, I salute him. Well done, Chris. You’ve built a career on helping superstar players put the puck in the net and last night was no different. Kudos.
I, personally, don’t possess the skills or vocabulary to accurately describe how amazing Connor’s night was. Frankly, I’m not even sure that the finest Thesaurus would have enough adjectives to properly pay tribute to the amazing effort and display of skill that we saw in last night’s game against the Lightning. For some players, a four-goal night would be a career defining moment, but for Connor McDavid, all I could think about was that this is only his third season in the NHL and that he will only get better. How many more four-goal nights will he have in him? Would you bet against him that he’ll get another? I wouldn’t. Right now, I’m wondering how long it will be before Captain Connor makes Safeway pay out a million bucks to someone. Gord knows it’s coming.