McDavid Still Going Strong for the Oilers
 

By Patrick Hoffman

It is clear that after having a great season last year, the Edmonton Oilers have taken a step backwards this season.

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As of this writing (February 6, 2018), the Oilers are 23-24-4 (50 points), which puts them 11 points out of the second wild card spot in the Western Conference. In a conference that is already extremely tight, this means that there is a chance that the team won't even make the playoffs this season.

One player that has not given up hope and is still playing at an unbelievably high level is team captain Connor McDavid. McDavid, 21, while probably frustrated with his team's overall play this season, certainly is not showing that with his still very strong play on the ice.

Last year's Art Ross Trophy, Hart Trophy, and Ted Lindsay Award winner is once again dominating the league this season. In 51 games (As of February 6, 2018), McDavid has 21 goals and 40 assists for 61 points. 

These numbers put him tied for ninth in the league in assists and tied for third in the league in points. He's also done the following this season:
Has two hat tricks, including one four-goal game (February 5, 2018 against the Tampa Bay Lightning)
Was named to the Western Conference All-Star Team
Won the Fastest Skater even at this year's All-Star weekend

He is showing the team and his fans that he is not giving up on this season. Sure, things have been quite dark around the team this season, but that does not mean that their captain is going to give up.

In fact, his play this season once again raises the question whether or not he is the best player in the league. This is something that Sportsnet.ca explored after his four-goal game against the Lightning

When it comes to this particular topic, it is easy to associate McDavid with Sidney Crosby. Crosby has done everything and more in this game and right now at least, it appears that McDavid is well on his way to being the same way.

McDavid is putting up tons of points, showing off his world class skills on a nightly basis, and on most nights, he is the best player on the ice. He has been doing this since he came into the league back in the 2015-16 season.

For the Oilers, this means that they have an extremely special player. In order to do right by him, they should do everything they possibly can to help him win more games this season because the season is not over yet and there is still a chance, although very slim, that they could sneak into the playoffs this year.

If that happens, McDavid will be the reason why.

Previously, Patrick has covered the NHL for Sportsnet.caKukla’s Korner, Spector’s Hockey, About.com, NHL Network Radio blog, TheHockeyNews.com, The Fourth Period, Stan Fischler’s “The Fischler Report”, as well as a slew of others.

For comments and hip checks, feel free to contact Patrick at patrickhoffman3530@gmail.com or on Twitter at @pathoffman35.