James O'Brien

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 03:  Connor McDavid #97 of the Edmonton Oilers skates against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on November 3, 2016 in New York City. The Rangers defeated the Oilers 5-3.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Win or lose, Connor McDavid keeps doing incredible things


Even in defeat – astoundingly narrow defeat – Connor McDavid rarely fails to amaze.

McDavid generated a special night to help the Edmonton Oilers grab a point on Friday night, but the Arizona Coyotes must feel incredibly lucky to escape the evening with a 3-2 shootout win.

How close was it? Well, the Oilers captured McDavid’s near-overtime-goal perfectly in GIF form (see video here).

Absurd. But at this point, almost normal for McDavid.

This goal did count, however, and it serves as the latest example that No. 97’s speed rating would be an easy 99:

Honestly, even mundane moments seem more exciting when McDavid is involved:

Remarkable. With that, the Oilers’ three-game winning streak comes to an end. Still, even losses like these really make you wonder if we’ll be watching in awe of what McDavid can accomplish in the playoffs.

Video: Should Stars’ winning goal have counted or was it icing?

DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 29:  Jason Spezza #90 of the Dallas Stars celebrates the goal by Patrick Sharp #10 against the Vancouver Canucks in the first period at American Airlines Center on October 29, 2015 in Dallas, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Few would argue that the Vancouver Canucks are a great team, but they’ve suffered some pretty tough losses. Friday’s 2-1 defeat to the Dallas Stars ranks up there.

It also might fuel the latest debate for hockey fans who love to pour over every rule debate: are officials given too much latitude when it comes to icing?

The Canucks certainly didn’t feel great about icing being waived off on this goal by Esa Lindell, which ultimately stood as the game-winner for Dallas:

With that, Vancouver falls to 8-11-2 while the Stars move up to a strange-looking record of 9-8-5.

Considering Dallas’ upcoming four-game road trip against the Blues, Red Wings, Penguins and Avalanche, wins like these could come in very handy.

Meanwhile, losses like these play a role in telling the story of the Canucks’ sad 2016-17 season.

Red Wings salvage OT win, but Howard is hurt

MONTREAL, QC - NOVEMBER 12:  Jimmy Howard #35 of the Detroit Red Wings looks on during the NHL game against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre on November 12, 2016 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  The Montreal Canadiens defeated the Detroit Red Wings 5-0.  (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

With each passing day, it feels like virtually every NHL team is vulnerable to reports that boil down to “That win will cost you.”

The Detroit Red Wings experienced that mixture of good and bad news on Friday.

On the bright side, they won a back-and-forth game against the New Jersey Devils by a score of 5-4 thanks to Mike Green‘s overtime-winner:

So that’s good. Now, for the “Yeah, but …”

Jimmy Howard suffered a lower-body injury in this game, and according to reporters including the Detroit Free-Press’ Helene St. James, Jeff Blashill believes he’ll miss a week “for sure.” With that, Jared Coreau was called up from the AHL.

It’s nice for the Red Wings to get a hard-fought win, one that moves them to 10-10-1, particularly against a team that – for all we know – could jostle with Detroit for one of the final East playoff spots.

Losing Howard won’t make it any easier for them to stay alive in the East bubble, however.

Discipline was a problem for Jets; So were the Predators

NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 08:  P.K.Subban #76 of the Nashville Predators celebrates with teammates Mattias Ekholm #14, Ryan Johansen #92, and James Neal #18 after scoring a goal against the Ottawa Senators during the second period at Bridgestone Arena on November 8, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

All of a sudden, the Nashville Predators are really starting to heat up. Just as abruptly, the Winnipeg Jets seem to be falling apart.

Those trends continued in an apparent way on Friday, as the Predators shook off a 1-0 deficit and throttled the Jets 5-1.

Ryan Johansen (two goals, one assist), Mike Fisher (three assists) and Colin Wilson (two goals) were the biggest contributors, although Blake Wheeler believes that Winnipeg’s wounds were also somewhat self-inflicted.

“It was a tough night for us,” Wheeler said. “We spent a little bit too much time in the box. Discipline was a problem. It wasn’t what we were looking for.”

The most glaring moment of discipline being a problem came when Brandon Tanev received a five-minute major for boarding:

The Predators went 3-for-5 on the power play, giving credence to Wheeler’s take.

Two very different directions

Still, it always seems like it’s something for the Jets lately. Maybe most surprisingly, this seemingly high-powered team isn’t really finding the net.

During this ongoing five-game losing streak, the Jets scored two goals once and a single tally in their four other defeats.

Contrast that to the Predators, who are currently on a three-game winning streak and improved to 8-2-2 in November. They’ve scored five goals on five different occasions during this month, justifying much of that pre-season hype a few weeks later than some expected.

The two teams meet again on Sunday, so Winnipeg gets a chance to reverse course. For better or worse.

Getzlaf, Perry take the blame for Ducks’ scoring woes

GLENDALE, AZ - APRIL 11:  Ryan Getzlaf #15 and Corey Perry #10 of the Anaheim Ducks watch from the bench during the first period of the NHL game against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on April 11, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

It’s often unfair to look at player’s goal stats alone when his team is struggling, especially if that player is still generating assists.

That’s probably a fair assessment of Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry so far in 2016-17, but the Ducks’ captain admits that he’s not finding the net often enough after Anaheim’s 3-2 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.

“We have to score goals, and that falls on Perry and me,” Getzlaf said. “We have to score. That’s what we’re paid to do.”

Indeed, for a budget team like the Ducks, seeing a duo raking in $16.875 million in cap space while only scoring five goals has to be maddening.

Again … it’s a pretty incomplete picture when you consider Getzlaf’s 15 assists (for 16 points in 18 games) and Perry’s respectable totals (four goals and 12 assists for 16 points in 21 games), yet you also understand the logic.

The percentages say that things are bound to swing for them, and it’s a decent sign that they’re at least generating some offense.

Bad luck vs. the aging process

Perry’s shooting percentage is at 6.1 (compared to a 13.4 career mark) while Getzlaf is even less fortunate with a 2.9 shooting percentage (career: 11.8). Both power forwards should expect their “puck luck” to rebound.

That said, it makes sense that they’re frustrated. It also makes sense if some Ducks fans might be a little worried about the future.

Both players are 31, and while some scorers can defy the odds, others tend to really fall off around that age.

That’s not to say that they won’t rebound at all, but what if it’s not enough? Can Randy Carlyle rally the rest of a still-quite-talented roster around that dynamic duo if it is indeed on the decline?

At least Getzlaf and Perry aren’t running from their issues.