By the Numbers: McDavid’s big night puts him in elite company

Connor McDavid’s sluggish start to the 2023-24 season feels like a distant memory now. Initially, with just two goals and 10 points in his opening nine games—underwhelming considering his usual high standards—the captain of the Edmonton Oilers swiftly turned the tide and embarked on a remarkable journey that etched his name in the annals of hockey history.

 

McDavid challenged emotionally by 'insane season' of change, losing | CBC  Sports

 

In Tuesday’s impressive 8-4 win against the Detroit Red Wings, McDavid showcased his prowess with six assists, four of which came in the final period. This achievement places him among elite company, as only two other players in the last quarter-century, Kris Letang and McDavid’s teammate Leon Draisaitl, have managed such a feat in a single game. Remarkably, this season marks the first time since the 1992-93 campaign, when Mario Lemieux and Doug Gilmour accomplished it, that multiple players achieved six assists in a game.

McDavid’s performance also carries historical significance as he became the first player since Don Grosso in 1944 to tally six-plus assists in a game without a power-play opportunity. Furthermore, his six assists at even strength tie him with Letang, Grosso, Babe Pratt, and Patrik Sundstrom for the second-most in NHL history, with Wayne Gretzky retaining the record at seven.

This memorable outing marked McDavid’s second career six-point game, the first being a combination of three goals and three assists in November 2019. He now joins a select group of Oilers players, including Gretzky, Jari Kurri, Glenn Anderson, and Paul Coffey, with multiple six-point performances.

Following his stellar showing, McDavid solidified his place in NHL history by becoming the fourth-fastest player to reach 600 assists, achieving this milestone in his 616th game. Additionally, he joined an elite group of players with 1000+ career points in regular season and playoff games within their first nine NHL seasons.

McDavid’s exceptional play continues to shine throughout the season, as he currently shares the league lead in assists with Nikita Kucherov, despite playing fewer games. His 77 points rank him third in league scoring, alongside David Pastrnak, with Kucherov and Nathan MacKinnon leading the pack.

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