McDavid won’t be out of regular season finale for Oilers vs. Canucks
Connor mcdavid won’t be absent from the Edmonton Oilers’ final regular season game on Saturday, even though the Oilers are stranded in their Stanley Cup playoff game and the center nearly clinched the NHL scoring title.
McDavid, who leads the NHL with 104 points (33 goals, 71 assists), 21 more than his teammate Leon Draisaitl, doesn’t want to sit against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Place (3:30 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN, ESPN +, NHL.TV). Coach Dave Tippett said one of the reasons was that the Oilers did not play the Stanley Cup First Round opener against the Winnipeg Jets until Wednesday, which means McDavid would not have played since May 12 if he was absent.
“When you only have one game in a week, you use that game to make sure your game is in order,” Tippett said Friday. “It’s an individual game, a team game. From Connor’s point of view, I asked him if this was a game he wanted to play. He said, ‘I want this game because it’s a game in a week and I want to make sure I’m keen.
“We want our players to tune in to make sure they are at their best on Wednesday night and we will do everything in our power to make sure that is the case. So tomorrow’s game is another chance to stay in. form.”
Video: VAN @ EDM: McDavid scores the goal, three assists for 100
Ahead of a 4-3 overtime win over the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday, Tippett was asked if the Oilers would let the players rest in a game of little significance, similar to what the Boston Bruins did when they scratched 15 regulars in a 2-1 loss to the Washington Capitals on Tuesday after their standings and playoff game were established.
“I do not know how [the Bruins] did that, “Tippett said.” I know we couldn’t do that. We have [an NHL] Salary cap issue and a roster issue so we couldn’t do it even if we wanted to. So this is a moot question for me. “
Tippett said McDavid and Draisaitl, who scored 83 points (31 goals, 52 assists), would not be rested.
“No, they both want to play the games,” he said.
McDavid became the ninth player in NHL history to reach 100 points in 53 games or less, with four points in a 4-3 win over Vancouver on May 8, following Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr, Jari Kurri, Phil Esposito, Bernie Nicholls, Steve Yzerman and Marcel Dionne.
McDavid’s 1.89 points per game this season is the best of his six-season NHL career. In the last 13 games, the Oilers have scored 48 goals and McDavid has one point on 72.9% of them (35 points; 10 goals, 25 assists).
He won the Art Ross Trophy as the two-time NHL scoring champion (2016-17, 2017-18) and has finished no less than second in the past five seasons.