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SportMcDavid’s latest 100-point season puts him in rare company

22:25  14 march  2019
22:25  14 march  2019 Source:   nbcsports.com

Which NHL teams are the biggest letdowns of 2018-19?

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McDavid’s latest 100-point season puts him in rare company© Getty

It was the type of night that Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid has probably already become frustratingly accustomed to having early in his NHL career.

He had a productive game with a pair of assists, the sixth consecutive game he has recorded at least two points, while the rest of his team looked like it was unprepared to play in an ugly 6-3 loss to a New Jersey Devils team that had lost seven games in a row and barely resembled an NHL roster given its injury situation and the trades it made over the past month.

It was probably enough to eliminate whatever lingering playoff hopes the team had this season, slim as they may have already been.

McDavid scores, Oilers beat skidding Senators 4-2

McDavid scores, Oilers beat skidding Senators 4-2 Connor McDavid scored a slick goal, Mikko Koskinen made 35 saves and the Edmonton Oilers beat the league-worst Ottawa Senators 4-2 on Thursday night. Sam Gagner, Colby Cave and Zack Kassian also scored for the Oilers, who stopped a two-game skid. Chris Tierney and Mark Borowiecki scored for the Senators, who lost their sixth straight, and Craig Anderson stopped 22 shots in his ninth straight defeat. It was the first home game for Ottawa since Mark Stone was traded to Vegas, but thanks to McDavid the Senators had one of their biggest crowds of the season.

[Related: Oilers squander opportunity to gain ground in playoff race]

The lone positive for McDavid, though, is that his two assists allowed him to reach the 100-point mark for the third consecutive season, an accomplishment that is almost unheard of in today’s NHL.

First, he is one of only five active players to have at least three 100-point seasons in his career, joining a list that includes only Sidney Crosby (five), Alex Ovechkin (four), Evgeni Malkin (three), and Joe Thornton (three).

Ovechkin is the only other one out of that group that reached the century mark in three consecutive seasons.

Crosby, who had 100-point seasons in 2005-06, 2006-07, 2008-09, and 2009-10) almost certainly would have done it six or seven years in a row had he not missed so many games to injury in 2007-08, 2010-11 and even 2011-12.

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That alone is impressive. Then there is the fact he has done it within his first four seasons in the league, something that only seven other players in the history of the league have done. That list: Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Peter Stastny, Crosby, Dale Hawerchuk, Ovechkin, and … Mike Rogers.

Rogers is the obvious name that doesn’t really seem to fit there, and his three 100-point seasons came when he was in his mid-20s after player several years in the WHA as a member of the Hartford Whalers. All of the other players were between the ages of 18 and 23 when they did it. They are all also either already in the Hall of Fame (Gretzky, Lemieux, Hawerchuk, Stastny) or will be there as soon as they retire (Crosby, Ovechkin).

So pretty good company to be included with.

Crosby, Ovechkin, and McDavid are also the only three players that have accomplished the feat outside of the high-scoring free-for-all days that were the 1980s NHL.

Oilers, Sabres sagging despite being led by McDavid, Eichel

Oilers, Sabres sagging despite being led by McDavid, Eichel Edmonton and Buffalo are still enduring growing pains four years after the Oilers chose Connor McDavid and Sabres selected Jack Eichel with the top two picks in the 2015 draft. The two so-called "once-in-a-generation" talents have both become the faces of their respective teams but have failed to transform them into contenders. Sabres forward Kyle Okposo says it's too much to ask one player to make a difference.

McDavid is currently second in the NHL scoring race, 11 points behind Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov.

Between him and Leon Draisaitl the Oilers have two of the league’s top-six scorers (and Draisaitl not only has an outside shot at 50 goals, he may even join McDavid as a 100-point scorer) and are still six points out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference, likely to miss for the third time in four years with McDavid.

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

Related slideshow: 2018-19 NHL Season (Provided by imagn)

McDavid’s latest 100-point season puts him in rare company

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