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G50 Game Notes: Connor McDavid is due for a Breakout Game on the Road

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Photo credit:© Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Jason Gregor
2 months ago
Connor McDavid has been incredibly consistent throughout his career, whether he plays on the road or at home, but this season has been somewhat of an anomaly when you look at his home and road production.
— In McDavid’s first eight seasons (2016-2023) he played 284 games at home and 285 on the road. He averaged 1.55 points/game at home and 1.44 on the road. Most of the top players produce more at home, where they get a few more favourable matchups, except for Artemi Panarin. Here are their splits over the previous eight seasons.
PlayerH PPGR PPG
McDavid1.551.44
Kucherov1.401.14
Draisaitl1.311.13
Crosby1.301.01
MacKinnon1.251.09
P. Kane1.191.06
Matthews1.181.08
Pastrnak1.171.00
Panarin1.101.14
Marchand1.141.08
It is pretty consistent across the board.
— However, so far this season, McDavid has been significantly more productive at home than on the road.
**I added in GP for seasons where he played a different number of games at home or on the road*.
McDavidH PTSR PTS
201627 in 2421 in 21
20174852
20185949
20196254
202049 in 3048 in 37
20215946
20226162
20237677
20245126
Over the past two seasons combined, McDavid produced two more points on the road than at home. It gets overlooked how consistent and productive he’s been on the road. But this year he’s crushing it at home with 51 points in 23 games (2.22 PPG) while he has 26 points in 24 road games (1.08 PPG).
— It is a bit odd to see such a disparity, and I’m not sure there is any specific reason why. I even broke it down to games since Knoblauch arrived. The Oilers have played 18 home games and 18 on the road since Knoblauch took over. McDavid has 45 points at home (2.50 PPG) and 22 on the road (1.22). I thought maybe their home schedule has been noticeably easier, so I looked at game v. top-10 teams, middle tier and bottom-10 teams.
OilersT 10MiddleB 10
Home387
Road576
Two more games v. top-10 teams on the road, but nothing significant, and he averaged 1.20 PPG in those five games on the road.
— The one area that is noticeably different has been the power play success on the road v. home under Knoblauch.
OilersRecordP%GF/GPGA/GPPP%PK%
Home16-2.889 (1st)4.33 (3rd)2.28 (4th)40% (1st)92.6% (2nd)
Road12-6.667 (5th)3.28 (8th)2.56 (5th)15.4% (23rd)79.3% (16th)
McDavid has 13 PP points at home and seven on the road, but that still leaves an EV point gap at 32-15.
— The great news for the Oilers is that even without McDavid dominating on the road the Oilers are still 12-6 under Knoblauch. It shows the depth of their team, and their massive improvement defensively. McDavid isn’t playing poorly on the road, far from it, I just found it interesting that for the first time in his career we’ve seen a large discrepancy in his home and road point totals. It won’t shock me if we see his road totals increase significantly during the final 16 road games.
— The Blues are 15-8-1 under interim head coach, and former Oiler, Drew Bannister. They have the ninth-best points% in the NHL since Bannister took over, and their powerplay, team defence and goaltending have been their strengths. They rank 16th in GF/GP, 11th in GA/GP, 12th in PK% and 6th on the PP. They’ve been outscored 46-41 at 5×5. They are 11th in 5×5 GA/GP, but only 27th in GF/GP.
— Jordan Binnington is 10-5-1 with a .910Sv% and 2.63 GAA. Backup Joel Hofer has been excellent going 5-3 with a .934Sv% and 2.37 GAA. Binnington and Hofer rotated starts for seven straight games, before Binnington started his second straight game in Toronto on Tuesday. The Oilers could face Hofer tonight.
— The most significant changes we’ve seen under Bannister have been Jordan Kyrou’s production. He had 17 points in 28 games with Craig Berube compared to 12 goals and 23 points in 24 games with Bannister. The interim coach has played Colton Parayko and Nick Leddy more. Parayko is averaging 24:41/game while Leddy is playing 23:14/game. Under Berube, Parayko averaged 23:15 and Leddy played 21:30. They are their top PK pair, and Parayko has been getting second unit PP time now.
— The Blues were lethargic in Toronto mustering only 15 shots in their 4-1 loss to a depleted Maple Leafs roster that didn’t have Morgan Rielly, Mitch Marner or John Tavares. The Blues forwards had a total of 10 shots with Alexey Toropchenko firing three while Brandon Saad had two. The Blues are not a dangerous team offensively. In their past seven games their shot totals have been 15, 18, 18, 21, 26, 32 and 36. They’ve averaged 23.7 shots/game but managed to score 23 goals. They’ve averaged 17.1 shots/game at 5×5 in that span. Edmonton is firing 24 shots/game at 5×5 in their last seven games.
— The Blues haven’t given up much defensively, but neither had Detroit until the Oilers pumped eight goals past them two nights ago. The Blues don’t create much offensively, while the Oilers have been very good defensively, excluding the second period vs. Detroit, for many months. This is a game Edmonton should control.
— McDavid needed the fourth fewest games played to reach 600 career assists. He did it in his 616th game, trailing only Wayne Gretzky (416), Mario Lemieux (514) and Bobby Orr (608). Since entering the NHL in 2015-16, McDavid leads with 603 assists followed by Artemi Panarin (482), Leon Draisaitl (468), Nathan MacKinnon (467), Nikita Kucherov (464), Patrick Kane (445) and Johnny Gaudreau (440).
If McDavid didn’t score one goal in the 8.5 years, he’d still rank 17th in total points, one back of Mark Schiefele and two behind Auston Matthews, who didn’t start playing until the 2016-17 season.

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