The captain of the Edmonton Oilers was very clear what his goal is this year when asked Wednesday. Reaching 100 points and capturing individual trophies are not his priorities.
“We’ve been there. We’ve done that. It’s time to win. That’s all that really matters,” Connor McDavid told reporters at Rogers Place.
The 25-year-old centreman sat at 98 points on the season, ahead of a matchup against the L.A. Kings this evening.
With 15 games left on the schedule, McDavid is sure to hit 100 if he stays healthy. It would be the fifth time in his career. He has 19 points in his last 10 games.
McDavid didn’t mention the Stanley Cup by name. But with three scoring titles and just one playoff series victory in his career, he said team success is his focus, not statistical milestones.
“It really doesn’t mean a ton to me. It’s special to be able to produce in this league. It’s not an easy thing to do. I definitely recognize that and I feel very grateful to be able to play and produce in this league at a high level, nothing more than that,” he explained.
Leon Draisaitl was just four points short of 100 Wednesday. He’s reached triple digits in points twice before, and won a scoring title in 2019-20.
Their coach said he’s seen a shift in both superstars, since meeting them when they were teenagers, seven years ago.
“They’re driven to be the best they can be. They want to be the best players in the world. But most importantly, they’re driven to win. They want to see our team get to 100 points,” Jay Woodcroft said.
McDavid and Draisaitl have both grown, Woodcroft explained, not only physically but also in how well they understand the game. He said they’re better defensively and at taking faceoffs.
“I also think mentally they’re at a different stage than where they were at when they first got into the National Hockey League. As players, I’ve seen maturity in their games as well,” he said.
“What they’ve accomplished at this age is phenomenal for both of them.”
The Oilers were third in the Pacific Division with 79 points in 67 games, chasing the Kings who had 81 points in 68 games.
With just over a month to go before playoffs, Woodcroft said McDavid and Draisaitl are “consumed by pushing the Edmonton Oilers forward.”
The game is at 7:30 p.m. at Rogers Place.
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