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More Connor McDavid magic in Oilers’ Game 5 win

Edmonton Oilers celebrate goal
Photo credit:Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
Jason Gregor
27 days ago
Game 5 had everything you could ask for in a hockey game. It had a shorthanded goal, power play goals, some great shots, key and timely saves, multiple NHL records broken and some excellent individual plays. And the best player on the planet, Connor McDavid, still managed to stand above all of those moments.
McDavid produced two goals and two assists and, in the process, set multiple NHL records.
  • He is the first player in the 106-year history of the NHL to produce consecutive four-point games in the Stanley Cup Final.
  • He produced 1-2-3 in the second period and became the first player to record multiple three-point periods in a single Stanley Cup Final.
  • His eight points in Games 4 and 5 are the most points in NHL history when facing elimination in a Stanley Cup Final.
And he set up Corey Perry for the game winning goal on a magical rush.
Re-watch the goal and pause it at the :07 mark when he is beside the Sportsnet logo on the ice.  At that moment he is surrounded by four players and THREE seconds later he gives Perry a tap-in goal. It was remarkable when you take a moment and dissect the play.
McDavid explained what he saw in real time.
“I’m in that position a lot going back for pucks, I’m on the breakout, bringing it in the zone,” said McDavid. “So, it’s something that I look at a lot — how certain guys are playing things. Mikkola has a really long reach and I just tried to work my way through there, and Pers (Perry) did a great job of working it backdoor.”
The amazing part is he did this at the 1:52 mark of his shift. McDavid’s conditioning is one aspect of his game that likely doesn’t get enough credit. His ability to make plays like this and maintain his speed at the end of shifts is astonishing.
McDavid’s four-point outing in Game 4 didn’t carry the Oilers. They led 3-1 before he got on the scoresheet, but in Game 5 he was in turbo mode. He assisted on the second goal, scored the third goal, assisted on the fourth and scored the game-clinching goal with 19 seconds remaining.
It will be remembered as one of the great Stanley Cup Final performances in NHL history. And McDavid is a key reason why the Oilers are dragging the Panthers back to Alberta for Game 6 on Friday.

OTHER NOTES…

For the second consecutive game the Oilers opened the scoring with a shorthanded goal. The other Connor, Brown, opened up the scoring with a great individual play.
Brown had been outstanding in the Cup Final, and really solid since he entered the playoffs in the second game of the Vancouver series. He and I discussed his journey back from ACL surgery earlier this week, and how it took longer than he wanted to, but he finally has his speed back, and it couldn’t have come at a better time for him and the Oilers.
The PK has been beyond good throughout the playoffs. They’ve only allowed four goals on 65 kills, and they’ve scored three shorthanded goals. The PK has a net 98.5% success rate. That is the second highest net PK% in the salary cap era among teams who won at least one round. The 2012 LA Kings were 98.7%. They allowed six PP goals on 76 kills (92.1%), but they scored five shorthanded goals. The Oilers have higher PK% at 93.9%, which is also second highest, behind the 2019 Dallas Stars (94.6%), but the Stars only played 13 games.
The Oilers PK has only allowed one goal on 16 kills in the Finals, and they’ve scored two shorties. They have a 106.3% net PK. Ridiculous.

Heads Up Decision…

Chris Johnston uncovered an interesting nugget about Perry’s game winning goal in his article at The Athletic this morning. Here is the description of how Perry got on the ice instead of Darnell Nurse.
“It was Darnell Nurse not Corey Perry, who was supposed to jump over the boards with an Edmonton Oilers power play winding down in the second period on Tuesday night.
“But as McDavid gathered speed through the neutral zone, Nurse yelled, “You go! You go!” to his teammate at the opposite end of the bench and Perry instead found himself on the ice and in prime position to finish off McDavid’s insane 1v3 rush against the Florida Panthers. 
Nurse wasn’t awarded an assist or point on the play, but he deserved an “A” for awareness.
“I’m not going to beat a forward down there,” he explained to The Athletic. “So I figured we might as well get one out there.”
When the first unit stays out over 1:40, then Nurse usually takes the first forward who comes off, so the Oilers have two defencemen on the ice, but in this instance, he made an audible. Smart move.

GAME 6 ON FRIDAY…

This will be the biggest game in Edmonton since Game 6 of the Cup Final in 2006. That night in Rexall Place is still the loudest building I’ve ever been in. The size and acoustics of Rexall Place are better than Rogers Place. Rogers is bigger, and because of that, it is a bit more cavernous, and the sounds don’t echo as well. However, it fits 2,000 more fans and Friday night will present an opportunity to match the noise of 2006.
Add in the fact the Oilers have an opportunity to do what no team in North American pro sports has done in the modern era — come back from a 3-0 series deficit in the Championship Final — and I can’t wait to feel the energy and excitement in the building. Whether you are in the building, in the Moss Pit, watching at a bar, with friends or family, or alone because you get too stressed, I hope you enjoy the moment.
Friday is a day where I feel sorry for those who aren’t into sports. That isn’t a shot at those who don’t enjoy sports, just that days like Friday are what sports fans live for.
I honestly can’t think of another situation that brings thousands and thousands of people together with a mixture of stress, elation, frustration, jubilation, disappointment and euphoria over a span of three hours.
Enjoy it, because it is highly unlikely the Oilers will ever be in this situation again — from trailing 3-0 in the Stanley Cup Final, to having a chance to send it back to Florida for Game 7.
Buckle up.

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