Connor McDavid Hits 100 Points in 53 Games. He’s Not Done Yet.

Every week in hockey that started and unfolded beneath a darkish shadow forged by fisticuffs and fines ended with the sport’s truest marker of a great season, from its most enjoyable participant.

That it occurred on Saturday on “Hockey Night in Canada,” the closest factor the nation has to appointment tv, and in Edmonton, Alberta, the middle of so most of the sport’s most lasting achievements by the most effective to play the sport, befitted Wayne Gretzky’s successor.

That it occurred so shortly was astonishing: Connor McDavid reached 100 factors in 53 video games.

Only 4 occasions has a participant reached 100 factors in fewer video games in the previous 30 years, and nobody has executed it in 25 years. Mario Lemieux completed the feat twice in 38 video games, in 1992-93 and 1995-96; Gretzky did it in 50 video games in 1990-91; and Jaromir Jagr reached it in 52 video games in 1995-96.

“I can’t believe my mom was still awake,” McDavid mentioned after the sport. “She was happy I was able to do it before the third period. She was excited. She said she couldn’t get to bed.”

The N.H.L. condensed this season to 56 video games from 82 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The league realigned its 4 divisions to accommodate journey restrictions between Canada and the United States, with Edmonton taking part in in the all-Canadian North Division. It has been a brief season that has felt like a protracted season, by no means extra so than final week.

Last Monday, hockey made headlines when Tom Wilson of the Washington Capitals attacked two gamers from the Rangers after the whistle. He was fined $5,000 for roughing Pavel Buchnevich, however his tossing to the ice of Artemi Panarin was ignored. In a rematch on Wednesday, the Rangers retaliated off the puck drop in a sport with 141 penalty minutes assessed. The Rangers rebuked the league’s resolution to not droop Wilson, and had been fined $250,000 for feedback that Commissioner Gary Bettman referred to as “demeaning of a league executive.” It was not an incredible week for hockey.

But on Saturday, McDavid, who had been racing towards the mark for a number of weeks, offered a wanted distraction. He now has 31 factors in his final 11 video games.

“Four-point nights aren’t something that come regularly,” McDavid mentioned. Yet it was his fifth four-point sport this season, and he has had 5 factors in a sport twice.

McDavid scored on his first shift and performed as if he had been possessed. He hunted the puck and referred to as for it. He was in on all 4 objectives made by the Oilers.

In the second interval, McDavid raced alongside the boards. With one hand on his stick, he stripped the puck from Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes to arrange a purpose by Jesse Puljujarvi. Then he drew an interference penalty and arrange a power-play purpose by Leon Draisaitl. His 100th level got here close to the top of the second interval, when he arrange Draisaitl once more.

McDavid, 24, now ranks fourth in the N.H.L. with 1.four factors per sport in his profession, behind Gretzky, Lemieux and Mike Bossy.

“It really means the world to me,” he mentioned. “It’s special to be part of a group like that. Obviously those are the game’s best players of all time. It’s special to be mentioned in the same breath as those guys.”

It was the fourth time in his six N.H.L. seasons that McDavid hit 100 factors, but it surely was the quickest he had executed so, by far. He wanted all 82 video games to get to 100 in 2016-17. The subsequent season, he hit 100 factors in 77 video games, and completed with 108. The season after that, he wanted solely 66 video games to get to 100, and completed with 116. The pandemic reduce the Oilers’ 2019-20 season to 71 video games, and he completed with 97 factors, however he probably would have gotten to 100 if it had been a traditional 12 months.

“This is a player that gets checked harder than any other player in the league,” Oilers Coach Dave Tippett mentioned. “I guarantee you every team comes in here and talks about how they’re going to check him and keep him off the board, and he still does what he does. It’s an amazing, amazing feat what he is doing.”

In his profession, Gretzky scored 100 factors in 53 video games or fewer 11 occasions. But Gretzky himself acknowledged the huge distinction between McDavid and the remainder of the gamers in the league, and the completely different, lower-scoring period in which he performs.

“There’s so many great players today, but if you’re going for 100 and they’re in the 70s, that’s pretty remarkable,” Gretzky told The Edmonton Sun final week.

“Most nights for him are two and three points,” he mentioned. “For me, I could go a couple of games with one point or no points and have that one five- or six-point night back-to-back. Connor seems to be solid all the way through.”

On the “Hockey Night” broadcast, comparisons had been drawn to the joy felt in 1981 when Gretzky scored five goals in a game towards the Flyers to succeed in 50 objectives in 39 video games, a file many believed would stand perpetually.

Although this was not fairly that, in Edmonton it felt lots like outdated occasions, although one vital a part of the story is lacking: Gretzky received 4 Stanley Cups with the Oilers, and McDavid has but to win one.

“We have bigger things to worry about,” McDavid mentioned, having loved the second, prepared to maneuver on.

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