Multiple Oilers chasing playoff scoring records

Connor McDavid Evan Bouchard
Photo credit:Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
1 month ago
Although hockey is a team sport, success isn’t achieved without individual players playing at their best.
These playoffs are no different. While the Oilers have committed to defensive hockey playing in ways they hadn’t before, shutting down opposing offences in each round, their own offence has continued to fire on all cylinders. Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Evan Bouchard, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins are the top four scorers this post-season, with Zach Hyman a not-so-distant seventh.
And among them are a few chases for single-season playoff scoring records.

The goals record

Zach Hyman has been electric so far these playoffs, with his 14 goals leading all players. That number is four higher than the two players tied for second place with 10, in Wyatt Johnston and Leon Draisaitl.
Now, heading into the Stanley Cup Finals, Hyman sits five goals back of tying the record for most goals in a playoff, and six back of taking over the record.
The record dates back to the 1976 playoffs, when Philadelphia Flyers winger Reggie Leach scored 19 goals in 16 games. While his Flyers were swept in the finals by the Montreal Canadiens, Leach became one of five players to win the Conn Smyth Trophy while on a team that did hoist Lord Stanley’s Mug.
Leach’s record was matched a decade later when Jari Kurri scored 19 goals in 18 games in 1985. Wayne Gretzky won the Conn Smythe trophy that year, his first of two, after he set the single playoff scoring record with 47 points.

The points record

Speaking of Gretzky’s run that year, he racked up a wild 17 goals and 47 points in 18 games. Only one player could come close to it in Connor McDavid.
He’s scored just five goals but has still amassed 31 points through 18 games. Given that he’s sitting 16 points back of the record right now, McDavid would need to go on an all-time run in the finals. Scoring at a 1.72 point per game pace this post-season, if the series against the Panthers goes to seven games and he continues at that pace, McDavid would finish the year with 43 points.
That alone would tie him with the third-best mark in the playoffs with Gretzky, who scored so many in the 1988 playoffs. Mario Lemieux sits second on the list with 44 points in 23 games in the 1991 post-season.

The assists record

McDavid, however, has a good chance to break another of Gretzky’s records, sitting five assists back of the 31 Gretzky racked up in 1988. With 1.44 assists per game, even if the unlikely scenario the series lasts just four games, McDavid’s pace would have him tying the record.
According to Bet365, the shortest odds on when the series finishes are in six or seven games, with implied probabilities of 33.33 percent each. Six games at his current pace would give McDavid 34 assists, smashing Gretzky’s record. This will surely be one to watch.

Defencemen scoring records

Evan Bouchard is chasing down his own coach’s record this season.
Paul Coffey set the playoff scoring record for defencemen in the 1985 playoffs, scoring 12 goals and 25 assists for 37 points in 18 games played. Bouchard currently has 27 points in 18 games, giving him a 1.5-point-per-game pace.
Continuing at such a pace over a six-game series would give him 34 points, putting him close to Coffey’s mark.
Bouchard, however, should be able to set the record for assists by a defenceman, given his 21 assists are just four back of Coffey’s record he set in 1985. His current assists per game pace over six games would land him with 28 on the season.

Power play goals

Leon Draisaitl is knocking on the door of the power play goal record, having racked up six so far through the Oilers’ 18 games. He sits three back of a record shared by Cam Neely and Mike Bossey.
The latter set the record first in 1981, scoring nine goals in 18 games. Ten years later, Neely matched it, scoring as many goals in 19 games.
Draisaitl’s current pace over a six-game final would land him with eight, right near the record. If the Oilers’ power play gets going, however, Edmonton’s triggerman could have quite a run.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@thenationnetwork.com.

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