Heading into (sadly) the final regular-season game of 2017-18 between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Edmonton Oilers, PHT discussed the similarities and differences between stars Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid.
One of the big points was that, like Crosby, McDavid is diversifying his style by being more willing to shoot versus a heavy assist-leaning past.
Of course, no reasonable person would ask either center to stop setting up plays altogether. These are two gifted passers who can really set the table for their linemates, in the way that once inspired people to claim that a fire hydrant could score 50 goals with Mario Lemieux.
Leon Draisaitl is no fire hydrant (and he better not be at $8.5 million per season), but McDavid did just about everything for him on a patently absurd goal:
Goodness. Here’s a GIF of that moment:
Some will note that Sidney Crosby was on the ice during this moment, and did not seem very pleased.
Update: This might increasingly feel like a game of “H-O-R-S-E” between McDavid and Crosby, as this assist was sweet in its own right.
This game ultimately came down the team’s other stars. Draisaitl was this close to finishing another strong McDavid setup:
While Evgeni Malkin got the job done, scoring the eventual game-winning goal on the power play:
Matt Murray also came up with some tough saves as the Penguins beat the Oilers 3-2. McDavid collected two assists and nearly had that third helper, yet it wasn’t enough. (Maybe fittingly, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored his 100th career goal in a losing effort.)
Pittsburgh improves to 8-5-1 while Edmonton’s headaches continue to the tune of a very concerning 3-7-1 mark. It’s not accurate to say that McDavid is all alone out there … but nights like these might make him feel like it.
Check out full highlights in the video above this post’s headline.
James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.