At the start of the 2017-18 season the Edmonton Oilers had the second best odds to win the Stanley Cup. Even with the NHL’s reigning MVP and scoring champion and even after a wildly successful season that saw them come within a single game of the Western Conference Finals it still seemed to be a little too much, a little too fast. First, for as good as the Oilers were last season a lot of it was dependent on Connor McDavid putting the team on his back and carrying them as far as he could. They also played Cam Talbot a ridiculous number of games and still don’t have anybody behind him that can be counted on to give him any kind of a consistent break. Add those two factors to a team that still doesn’t have a lot of depth and there are some reasons to maybe want to pump the brakes on the Stanley Cup talk. It is still early in the season, but so far we are starting to see that play out on the ice. After their loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday the Oilers are now just 2-5-0 on the season and have the second-worst record in the Western Conference. McDavid is doing what McDavid always does. He is in year three of his career and is still a human highlight reel every single time he touches the ice. His speed is unmatched. His creativity is off the charts. He is, at times, an unstoppable force and is once again the single biggest factor driving the Oilers offense. Right now he is the only factor driving the Oilers’ offense. With eight points so far this season that means he has either scored or assisted on more than 57 percent of the team’s goals. He has been on the ice for nine of them, which is more than 65 percent. Through the first seven games of the season the Oilers have scored only five goals this season when McDavid has not been on the ice. That is not a trend that can continue if the Oilers are going to have any hopes of getting out of this early season slump, let alone competing for a Stanley Cup. There is no one single player in the NHL that can make that much of a consistent impact without some secondary help.
Connor McDavid is great, but he can’t do it all for the Oilers
Pro Hockey Talk | Oct 22