Connor McDavid only needed three shots on goal to score his eighth career hat-trick on Saturday night. The captain finished with five points (3 g, 2 a) in a dominating 7-1 victory for the Oilers over the Calgary Flames. The win completed a back-to-back ‘Battle of Alberta’ sweep that now has the Oilers at 12-8-0 on the season.
McDavid’s magic and ‘supernova nights’ should be the norm by now, but they still cause excitement and an awe among media, fans and teammates alike. Not surprisingly, McDavid’s performance was at the forefront of the conversation postgame on Saturday night.
“It’s hard to describe,” Ryan Nugent-Hopkins began after the win. “There’s not anybody out there like him. He drove the game for us right from the start and we followed along. I thought he was solid all night. It’s fun to watch and fun to be a part of.”
Nugent-Hopkins scored twice in the win, including once when McDavid set him up perfectly for the eventual game winner. Nugent-Hopkins wasn’t the only person heaping praise on the captain after a big win. Head Coach Dave Tippett was awfully impressed as well.
“There are some nights where the puck just seems to follow him around, and when he has the puck great things happen,” Tippett said postgame. “That was the case tonight.”
As for McDavid himself? It was just another one of those nights where he felt good and good things happened.
“You have some nights when the puck just goes in for you and you don’t feel that good, and you have nights where you feel amazing and it just doesn’t go,” McDavid said. “Hockey is a crazy game like that. I felt good tonight and it went in for me, but I thought our team played really well.”
The Oilers, who are now seven points up on the playoff cutline, will try to keep playing really well when they head to Vancouver on Tuesday night for a two-game set against the Canucks.