In order to celebrate the Edmonton Oilers’ 40-year anniversary AND distract ourselves during this hockey-less nightmare, we’ll be re-living 40 amazing moments from Oilers history. Today, we have Connor McDavid’s amazing goal in his triumphant return from injury.
It didn’t take long for Connor McDavid to figure things out at the NHL level.
After being held without a point in the first two games of his career, McDavid redirected a shot from Andrej Sekera for his first career goal. After that, the young phenom took off. McDavid showed everybody why there was so much hype surrounding him, as he started ripping on a point-per-game pace for the rest of October.
Unfortunately, McDavid’s strong rookie showing came to a crashing halt. In the second period of an early November game against the Philadelphia Flyers, McDavid stole the puck in the defensive zone and raced up ice, burning past clunky defender Brandon Manning. As McDavid cut to the net, Manning slammed him down awkwardly into the boards.
The Oilers would end up winning the game, but they lost McDavid, who would be on the shelf for two to three months with a fractured collarbone.
November, December, and January dragged along, and, at the beginning of February, McDavid was finally cleared to make his return. With the Oilers struggling through a three-game losing streak, McDavid returned to the lineup as the Oilers hosted the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets.
If there was any doubt that the rookie would be rusty from missing play for three months or if he would look anxious after suffering that injury, McDavid silenced it very quickly. In the second period, with the teams tied 1-1, McDavid picked up the puck on a turnover in the defensive zone and ripped up ice, just as he had done against the Flyers three months earlier. This time, nobody was able to touch him.
McDavid slipped through two Blue Jackets defenders like they were turnstiles and broke in on Sergei Bobrovsky, who he completely dangled out of his pants before firing the puck into the back of the net.
The Oilers would end up winning the game by a commanding score of 5-1, with McDavid’s goal standing as the winner. He would rip through the rest of the season, ultimately finishing with 48 points in 45 games.
This goal was when McDavid really arrived in the NHL and everybody realized “okay, this kid is something else.”
Honestly, to this day, I think this is McDavid’s best goal. There are plenty of great ones to pick from of the 167 goals he’s scored (including playoffs), but this one takes the cake from me. He moves in on the Blue Jackets defencemen so quickly that they’re just stunned, just aimlessly waving their sticks, completely unable to figure out where the puck is. Then to completely dangle out Bobrovsky like that while in tight is just incredible.