Connor McDavid reaches 100 assists, Warren Foegele shines in 9-2 beatdown of the San Jose Sharks

Photo credit:Tom Kostiuk
19 days ago
With three games left in the regular season and only a slim chance of winning the division, the only things I really cared about in last night’s game were that Connor McDavid picked up his 100th assist, and everybody made it through okay. If I could bubble-wrap these boys for the next week, I would. Thankfully, my pre-game wishes seemed to come true as both McDavid got his assist, and everyone seemed to make it through the 9-2 ass-kicking safely and successfully.


It only took Connor McDavid 13  seconds on his first shift of the night before potting his 32nd goal of the season on a play where he was very clearly trying to find Hyman on the doorstep for the tap-in. The funniest part about the whole thing was that McDavid actually looked annoyed that he was the one who scored, but in what may have been the best joke the Hockey Gords played all season, we had to wait eight more goals before he finally picked up his 100th helper.
Watching McDavid pick up assist #100 on Hyman’s 54th to become only the fourth player in NHL history to reach 100 assists in a single season gave us yet another moment to appreciate the greatness we’re lucky enough to witness on a nightly basis. Even though it was a point night for the boys against a horrible team, just knowing that McDavid was back in the lineup was enough to get us all excited about what was to come. If anything, the hardest part will be getting through these last two regular season games.
Maybe I’m thinking too cautiously, but does it make sense to have him sit out the last two now that he got his 100th assist? If he is going to dress — I’d guess that he probably wants to play — would it make sense to limit his ice time to random shifts and power play time to keep the senses sharp? Load management is more of a thing in the NBA than in the NHL, but it makes sense to think about with a guy like McDavid who just missed three games and is so important to this team that you want him feeling his best.


With the goal and assist, Evan Bouchard became the first Oilers defenceman since Paul Coffey in 1986 to hit 80+ points in a single season, and I cannot wait to see what it looks like when we start talking extension. Having Bouchard at $3.9 million feels like a steal, and we’d be well served to remember that over the next year and change before he winds up pushing $10 million in AAV. I know some of us thought his current rate was a lot at the time, but no one is saying that now.
I know he’ll never be the perfect defenceman and that some folks will always think he’s lazy, but what Dad can do with the puck from the back end is truly remarkable. I mean, could you have ever imagined the Oilers drafting and developing a d-man that could run a clip better than a point per game? I love watching him do his thing, and even though there are certainly times the guy frustrates me with defensive lapses, it’s had to ignore all of the magic he makes at the other end of the ice.


Watching contract year Warren Foegele score 19 goals this season—he had two more against the Sharks—made me realize that we’re probably going to have to watch him walk for nothing on July 1st when free agency opens up. With speed to burn and the ability to put up 40+ points in a season, Foegele will likely have a sizeable list of suitors with more cap space to spend than the Oilers would likely be able to do.
I know I’m getting ahead of myself, and the Oilers could do what they can to keep him around, but after a career-best in goals, assists, and points, it’s not hard to see him getting a raise on the $2.75 million he’s currently making this season. There was a time when I thought that Foegele would probably get traded as part of an upgrade or cap dump, and now I’m trying to figure out how the Oilers might be able to keep him. Life comes at you fast in this sport, it seems.


– I love Adam Henrique and don’t care who knows it. I wrote about why I’d love the Oilers to re-sign him in my last post-game article so that I won’t rehash the whole thing now, but the essential point you need to know is that he’s quietly good at so many things. I would love to have three more Adam Henriques in the lineup if I could.
-What a game for Dylan Holloway, who finished with a goal and two assists in 13:53 worth of TOI, marking the most efficient night of his young career. It also gives Holloway two goals and two assists in the four games he’s played since being recalled from the Bakersfield Condors. If he keeps buzzing around the ice and chipping in offensively, it’s going to be mighty difficult for the coaching staff to pull him out of the lineup.
-He went more than a calendar year without scoring, but suddenly, Cody Ceci has five goals in the back half of the 2023-24 campaign. I know a lot of us were trading him for some upgrade at the deadline, but I think we can all agree that it’s pretty fun to watch him have some success since he’s still with us.
-The Oilers certainly didn’t need the power play goals, but I do find it odd the Sharks didn’t draw a single penalty despite chasing the puck for 60 minutes.
-I don’t know how I would have felt if the Oilers put up nine goals on the board but couldn’t win the bulk of the faceoffs. Thankfully, I won’t have to worry about it after the boys won 58.5% of the draws on the evening.
How about Sportsnet cutting to commercial mid-play? Did anyone else see that? How much longer is this TV contract, anyway?


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