Entering Saturday night’s “Hockey Night in Canada” showdown with the Canucks, Connor McDavid had been downplaying how important scoring 100 points this season was to him.
“It’s a number,” McDavid said when he was sitting on 93 points; he had 96 Saturday morning. “If I get there, great. If not, it’s not the end of the world, either. The most important thing is our team is gearing up for the playoffs and making sure we’re firing on all cylinders in Game 1.”
Well, while he may not have been thinking about it, the smile on his face when he notched point 100 in the second period — his fourth point (goal, three assists) of the night — told a different story. The historic moment came in the Oilers’ 53rd game of the season as he assisted on Leon Draisaitl’s game-winning power-play goal.
“Honestly, it’s just impressive,” said Draisaitl, who hit his own career milestone of 500 (and 501) NHL points in the game. “I don’t think my English is good enough to find another word for it right now, but it’s incredible. I mean, I don’t know, we’ve played 50-some games, he’s at 100 points. It’s just very impressive and just, you know, fun to be a part of.”
“I think what it does, it just solidifies he’s one of the top players to ever play the game,” said head coach Dave Tippett. “The level that he’s played at this year, and just what he’s accomplished, it’s one of those years that you look at Wayne [Gretzky] or you look at Mario [Lemiuex], it’s one of those years where he’s taken his talents to another level that is just elite for the league.”
McDavid, who has 32 goals and 68 assists, became just the ninth player in NHL history to hit the century mark in 53 games, joining the likes of Gretzky and Phil Esposito. The last players to do it were Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr with the Penguins in 1995-96.
“It’s special to be part of a group like that, obviously. Those are the game’s best players of all time so it’s special to be mentioned in the same breath as those guys,” McDavid said postgame.
“Four-point nights aren’t something that come regularly, I think. I was just trying to come in and play a good game, play like I can,” he said later, adding that he spoke to his parents and was surprised his mom was awake to see it. “My legs felt pretty good. I was able to get on the board on the first shift, that always helps. I think after the first one, it kind of crosses your mind, and I was fortunate to feel pretty good throughout the night and a couple of great shots from my teammates.”
After the Edmonton captain hit the mark, Twitter not only praised him but was also in awe of the moment.
With 1G-3A for his @EdmontonOilers so far tonight, Connor McDavid joins Wayne Gretzky (11 times), Mario Lemieux (6), Phil Esposito (2), Jari Kurri (2), Marcel Dionne, Steve Yzerman, Bernie Nicholls & Jaromir Jagr as the only players to get 100 points in a season in 53 or fewer GP pic.twitter.com/grFCbtXxfz
— StatsCentre (@StatsCentre) May 9, 2021
Make it 100 pts for McDavid. Goes on a run of 16 points over a 5 game stretch to get there in just 53 games. Absolutely phenomenal production.
— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) May 9, 2021
There you go…
8th time in his last 10 GP that McDavid has had 3 or more points.
What a season…
What a player…
— Bob Stauffer (@Bob_Stauffer) May 9, 2021
As someone old enough to have seen Gretzky and Lemieux at their peak, appreciate being a fan in the McDavid era. It won’t last forever, but you’ll be telling stories about this guy for decades.
— Down Goes Brown (@DownGoesBrown) May 9, 2021
McDavid is better at hockey, than any other athlete is at their sport. @EdmontonOilers
Congrats @cmcdavid97 on this un-f***ing-believable accomplishment!
— B R E T T K I S S E L (@BrettKissel) May 9, 2021
Yeah, Connor McDavid got to 100 points, but I folded all my laundry today, and that felt like a pretty big accomplishment to me.
— Peter Baugh (@Peter_Baugh) May 9, 2021
What a performance by McDavid, that true superstar who recognizes the occasion, and is talented enough to deliver.
I sure wish there were 18,500 fans in this place to enjoy this.
It’s a crime that a season this great gets played in front of only empty seats.
— Mark Spector (@SportsnetSpec) May 9, 2021
Time to create a league above the NHL for McDavid to graduate to.
He’s too good for this level, stunting his development. https://t.co/GXrEKiFlqd
— Jesse Granger (@JesseGranger_) May 9, 2021
100 points in 56 games seemed like an incredible objective when the season opened. McDavid does it with three games to spare.
Insanely, he could plausibly finish this 56-game season with the second-highest point total of his career.
— Jonathan Willis (@JonathanWillis) May 9, 2021