Can Connor McDavid’s red-hot run help him hit the 1000 point mark before the regular season is over?

Photo credit:Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
1 month ago
Connor McDavid is nearing a milestone that only 98 players have ever achieved: scoring 1000 points in the NHL.
Heading into Wednesday night’s game against the Dallas Stars, McDavid sits just 24 points back of reaching the feat so few have done and when the time comes, it will just be another feather in the cap for what has already been an incredible year. So long as he hits the feat before October 29th of this year, he will become the third fastest player in NHL history to hit the mark at 27 years and 290 days old — if not younger.
While it’s easy to just say, “Oh, he’ll lock it up next fall for sure,” one has to wonder if a frantic finish to this season could get him to the mark. Needing to score 24 points in the Oilers’ final nine games of the season is no small task, but when it comes to McDavid, you realize that you can’t count him out of anything.
He would need to score 2.67 points per game down the stretch run of this season to hit the mark — a pretty significant climb from the 1.77 points per game he’s scored this season. That number, however, accounts for his season as a whole, one in which he scored just 10 points in the first 11 games. But as the season has progressed, McDavid has only picked up his pace.
A big turning point in the pickup was a February 13th game against the Detroit Red Wings, where he racked up six points, taking his point-per-game average on the season from 1.54 to 1.64. When you isolate his last 25 games, from that one against the Red Wings through the Oiler’s loss to the St. Louis Blues on April 1st, he’s scored a staggering 55 points, giving him a 2.2 point per game average over that time.
Looking at all players who played over 100 minutes since Feb. 13, few are scoring near as much as McDavid is. Nathan MacKinnon is second in points over that time, with 42 in 22 games played, for a 1.9 point per game rate. Artemi Panain is third with 40 points in 22 games, for a 1.8-point per game rate. Leon Draisaitl is fourth with 39 points in 25 games, scoring 1.6 points per game. Nikita Kucherov has 38 points in 21 games, for a 1.8-point per game rate. Those five players are the only ones who have over 38 points in that stretch, with Auston Matthews fifth with 35 points.
And no, he’s not doing it all on the power play. At 5v5, McDavid has scored 33 of his 55 points, eight more than the second-place MacKinnon and 11 (!) points more than the third-place Panarin. But make no mistake: McDavid is still producing on the power play, as his 16 points there are tops in the league, two more than the second-placed Draisaitl.

Ruling McDavid out of doing anything should be impossible because all he’s ever done is find new ways to continue to be the greatest player in the game. Last year, for example, he scored 64 goals, scoring at will on NHL netminders, and won his first-ever Rocket Richard Trophy.
This year, he’s gone out and dished the puck at an incredible level and is on the precipice of becoming the fourth player in NHL history to record 100 assists in a season.
And those 55 points in 25 games he put up on this recent stretch? That kind of production has only happened one other time since Mario Lemieux did so between December 7th, 1995 and February 10th, and it was by none other than McDavid himself when between January 25th and March 23rd of this year, he put up 55 points in a 25-game span.
So yeah, this is a pretty special run for McDavid.
What would be remarkable if he were to accomplish the feat is that it would put him at 150 points for the second consecutive season. If he were to do it, he would become the second player in NHL history to do so, following suit with Wayne Gretzky, who had seven consecutive 150-point-plus seasons from 1980-81 through 1986-87, and the third to record two or more 150-point seasons alongside Lemieux.
Let’s see what he can do to close this campaign out.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@thenationnetwork.com.

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