Having It Their Way

Photo credit:Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Robin Brownlee
10 months ago
After a night when Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl lit up the Nashville Predators as they usually to do, this time in a 7-4 win for the Edmonton Oilers, it seems a foregone conclusion they’ll finish one-two atop NHL scoring as they’ve done twice before. The only question is how far ahead of the pack they’ll be.
With a fifth straight win and a 7-3-0 record in the books, McDavid pushed his personal points streak against the Nashville to eight games (5-15-20) with 2-2-4. Draisaitl added 1-4-5 to give him an outrageous 20 goals in 21 games against the Predators and 18 goals in his last nine games against the team from Music City. If that’s not owning a team on a whole new level, I don’t know what is.
McDavid sits atop the scoring race with 11-11-22 in 10 games and Draisaitl sits second with 5-16-11. Remember during pre-season when people were wondering if McDavid might score 50 goals for the first time this season? I’m thinking 60 minimum now. You? As for Draisaitl, if he’s not the best second banana in the league right now, I can’t think of who’s better.
Given all of the above, it was Draisaitl who easily provided the best line of the night with an epic bit of understatement in the post-game scrums. “Some nights it just seems to happen a little easier, a little more flow than others maybe, and I seem to get lucky against these guys quite a bit,” said Draisaitl, who assisted on all three of Evander Kane’s goals and scored the 6-3 goal. “So, obviously, take it and run with it.”


Dec 6, 2019; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid (97) and forward Leon Draisaitl (29) discuss a play during the third period at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Ask Draisaitl about the torrid start he and McDavid are putting together and he’s matter-of-fact about it, as he often is. “That is what we are paid to do, to produce offensively,” he said. “With that being said, we are here to win a championship and look at the big picture. Him and I, we have had our awards and it is nice and we are proud of (them), but we want the big prize. It is a good start for us as a group, which is way more important.”
After a 2-3-0 start, the Oilers sit second behind the Vegas Golden Knights in the Pacific Division based largely, but not solely, on McDavid and Draisaitl imposing their will. Even with all the great players who’ve worn Edmonton silks in this town over the years, it really is something to see. What’s needed now is to translate that into team success, which we got a peek at last season.
“I don’t have an answer for you, or at least a good answer for you,” coach Jay Woodcroft said when asked about Draisaitl’s results against Nashville. “Sometimes certain players feel a certain way against certain teams I guess, but to Leon’s credit, he’s found a way to put some numbers up against this team, and most importantly, he helps the team win. I wish I had a better answer for you, but I can’t explain that.”
While Draisaitl calls it luck and Woodcroft isn’t quite sure what to make of his success against Nashville, Kane knows exactly what he’s seeing from No. 29 and No. 97 and why they’re playing at a cheat code level right now.
“That’s why I’m here, to be frank,” said Kane when asked about playing with Draisaitl and McDavid. “Those guys are obviously the two best players in the world. It seems like each and every night they’re loading up the score sheet and leading us to victory.”

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