GDB 66.0: The Unexpected Dynamic Duo (5:30pm MT, SNW)

Photo credit:Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Jason Gregor
1 year ago
When you play with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl it is easy to get overlooked. McDavid is having one of the greatest seasons in NHL history, and Draisaitl is on his way to his third 50-goal and 100-point season, and even as he sits second in NHL scoring, he battles to avoid being hidden in the shadow of McDavid’s accolades. Draisaitl doesn’t mind, plus his resume includes a Hart Trophy, the Art Ross, and the Ted Lindsay. He knows he is good.
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McDavid and Draisaitl were expected to lead the NHL in scoring this year. From 2017 to now McDavid has the most points in the NHL with 773. Draisaitl is second with 652 while Nathan MacKinnon (571), Patrick Kane (562), and Artemi Panarin (561) round out the top five. Boston forwards Brad Marchand (560) and David Pastrnak (535) are sixth and ninth respectively.
It isn’t a shock to see McDavid leading the NHL and Draisaitl in second spot, although McDavid’s 124 points through 65 games is a surprise. He’s on pace for one of the greatest seasons in NHL history, while Draisaitl is on pace to set a career-high with 122 points.
Their offence hasn’t been a surprise, but I think it is fair to suggest seeing Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (11th) and Zach Hyman (19th) both top 20 in points was unexpected. Both have set new career highs in goals, points, and assists and they still have 17 games remaining.
Nugent-Hopkins’ previous high was 28 goals and 69 points. He’s already scored 30 goals and 78 points.
Hyman’s previous best was 27 goals and 54 points. He’s tallied 29 goals and 72 points already. Both could surpass 90 points.
Only 24 players have reached the 90-point plateau over the last five seasons. Tage Thompson, Erik Karlsson, Elias Pettersson, Jason Robertson, Jack Hughes, and William Nylander are also on pace to reach the 90-point plateau for the first time in their careers.
What is unique about RNH and Hyman is they will do it as the third- and fourth-highest scorers on their team. The Oilers’ top duo of McDavid and Draisaitl command much of the spotlight, but the Oilers’ third and fourth scorers are killing it. Here are the top-10 scoring teammates in the NHL.
EDMMcDavid & Draisaitl95-125-220
TBKucherov & Point64-105-165
TORMarner & Nylander56-99-155
EDMRNH & Hyman59-91-150
COLMacKinnon & Rantanen68-81-149
BUFThompson & Skinner69-77-146
PITCrosby & Malkin51-91-142
VANPetersen & Hughes35-107-142
DALRobertson & Hintz68-71-139
BOSPastrnak & Marchand63-75-138
The Oilers have two duos in the top four. It’s remarkable that RNH and Hyman could produce the most points by the third and fourth scorers on the team in the 2000s, and the most since 1996. Ron Francis (119 points) and Petr Nedved (99) combined for 218 points with Pittsburgh and trailed teammates Mario Lemieux (161) and Jaromir Jagr (149).
Here are the top third and fourth scorers on teams in the 21st century:
PIT (2001)Straka and Lang59-116-175
ATL (2006)Hossa & Kozlov64-99-163
DET (2006)Shanahan & Lidstrom56-105-161
WSH (2010)Semin & Green59-101-160
COL (2001)Hejduk & Tanguay68-88-156
TOR (2022)Nylander & Tavares61-95-156
EDM (2023)RNH & Hyman59-91-150
NSH (2022)Forsberg and Granlund53-95-148
Hyman and RNH are on pace to become the most prolific this century. The most points by third and fourth leading scorers was 233 by Jari Kurri and Glenn Anderson with the Oilers in 1986. Johnny Bucyk and Ken Hodge combined for 221 with the 1971 Bruins and Francis/Nedved are third with 218 points.
As the Oilers push for the playoffs, the main focus will be moving up the standings and trying to secure home ice advantage as well as McDavid’s quest for 150 points. But the production of RNH and Hyman shouldn’t be overlooked. It has been excellent and if it continues in the postseason the Oilers could get back to the Conference Final, and even beyond.




Kane – McDavid – Hyman
RNH – Draisaitl – Yamamoto
Foegele – Bjugstad – Janmark
Shore – McLeod – Ryan
Nurse – Ceci
Ekholm – Bouchard
Kulak – Desharnais
Klim Kostin, Philip Broberg, and Jack Campbell stayed after practice which is usually a sign of who won’t dress. Evander Kane returns and will give McDavid another offensive weapon. Kane has 19 points in 24 games. If he can stay healthy, he will be a huge addition down the stretch and into the playoffs.


Marchand – Bergeron – DeBrusk
Zacha – Krejci – Pastrnak
Bertuzzi – Coyle – Frederic
Greer – Nosek – Hathaway
Orlov – McAvoy
Lindholm – Carlo
Forbort – Grzelcyk
Jim Montgomery wouldn’t confirm his starting goalie. They have rotated the past seven games. Jeremy Swayman got the win over Edmonton on February 27th, and Linus Ullmark did start the Bruins’ last game on Sunday, but I wonder if the league’s top goalie wants to face the league’s best player. Players always want to test themselves, so I’m going to play a hunch and say Ullmark starts. I’d love to see the league’s best offence battle the league’s best goalie.


Photoshop: Tom Kostiuk
GAME DAY PREDICTION: Seattle won in regulation in Boston and LA and Vegas won in a shootout. The oddity of the Pacific teams having success in Boston continues as the Oilers win 4-2 and hand Boston only its third regulation home loss of the season.
OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: McDavid extends his point streak to 12 games. He has points in 43 of his last 45 games.
NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION:  Mattias Ekholm scores his first goal with Edmonton and his first career goal v. the Bruins.

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