Connor McDavid puts NHL on notice with goal-scoring frenzy Flyers interim GM Danny Briere believes franchise needs a rebuild Lightning captain Steven Stamkos injures left leg Capitals re-sign Trevor van Riemsdyk to 3-year, $9M deal Flyers fire embattled GM Fletcher, give Briere interim job
Connor McDavid entertainment that is a must-see not only for hockey fans.
The best player in the world is having such an outstanding year that his peers can’t help but follow his best moments. The Edmonton Oilers captain has already set a career high with 55 goals and 127 points, with 15 games remaining in the regular season.
“He’s from another planet,” said the captain of the Washington Capitals. Alexey Ovechkin said.
McDavid’s last performance was as a scorer after spending his first seven seasons in the NHL more as a playmaker. First he shoots, then he asks questions and gets the attention of the entire league.
“He dominates,” Pittsburgh Penguins captain. Sidney Crosby said. “He just keeps getting better. And like any player, this is what you want. But when it’s a guy like that, it’s scary.”
Trying to defend McDavid is a daunting proposition for opponents and has been since he burst into the league in 2015 with his dazzling stickplay and blinding speed. He has already won the Hart Trophy as MVP twice and has taken home the Art Ross Trophy for the most points in a season four times.
This time, McDavid creates another MVP-worthy season, and in doing so runs away with the scoring title. Just as he focused on improving the face-off circle and completing his two-way play in previous years, he made a concerted effort to score more and broke the 50-goal mark for the first time in his career.
“I’ve never been an elite scorer,” McDavid said. “I’ve kind of always been the first guy. I’ve kind of always said I pick the best game available, but this year I just feel like I’ve been put in some good places, obviously playing some good players, and the puck is flying. I think that is ultimately the difference. “.
The difference between McDavid and the closest scorer, teammate Leon Draisaitl, is 29 points. Boston to David Pastr ranks second in the league in goals and is still nine behind McDavid.
After six multi-goal games in his last 10 games, McDavid is approaching the highest single-season total since the beginning of the salary cap era in 2005, surpassing Ovechkin’s 65 in 2007-08. Ovechkin, who is second only to Wayne Gretzky on the list of career goals and is 79 points away from the record, admires what McDavid is doing.
“The way he drives the game, the way he controls the puck, the way he controls speed, he’s interesting to watch,” Ovechkin said. “It’s great that he can show not only one year, but constantly does it over and over again.”
Crosby, a two-time MVP and three-time Stanley Cup winner, is impressed by McDavid’s commitment to development. Dallas Stars coach Peter DeBoer uses McDavid as an example for young players to isolate weakness and turn it into strength.
“I think it’s a lesson for everyone that this guy just hasn’t been touched by the hand of God with talent,” DeBoer said. “He worked on that and on his game to get better.”
Dylan Strom witnessed McDavid honing aspects of his game when they were junior teammates in Erie, Pennsylvania.
“He finds new ways to be more creative,” Strome said. “Sometimes you wonder what else he can do?”
Strome, who is now playing Ovechkin in Washington, sees McDavid score from different angles, shoot from a distance and take more shots. This was partly due to watching Crosby, the reigning MVP. Auston Matthews and others, and learning how they throw the puck.
“So many guys do it differently,” McDavid said. “It’s always an opportunity to learn by watching other guys.”
McDavid is constantly learning and also inspiring the best players in the NHL. Nathan McKinnonwho was one of the top players in Colorado’s Stanley Cup last year, said McDavid’s season makes him want to improve.
“It makes you want something,” McKinnon said. “I know I won’t be as good as him no matter how hard I work, but I appreciate what he does and how he does it.”
McDavid is jealous of McKinnon, Crosby and Ovechkin for what they did that he didn’t: win the Cup. Now at 26 years old, his trip to the Western Conference Finals last season was his highest scoring achievement to date. He said his focus has always been on the team and called winning the championship “the ultimate goal that we’re aiming for.”
Nothing McDavid does in the regular season guarantees playoff success, although playing against the Oilers, as McKinnon did against the Avalanche last spring, could be his next stunt. Vegas coach Bruce Cassidy sees proof of this in McDavid’s production.
“Just a bossy guy who wants his name in the Cup,” Cassidy said. “He’s just focused on, even though it’s the regular season, leading this team, pulling this team, putting them on his back.”
Having scored the most points in a season since Mario Lemieux’s 161 in 1995/96, McDavid said he didn’t really think about what his total could be. There are definitely other players.
“Every time he hits the ice, he might have one or two goals,” the Florida player said. Sam ReinhartMcDavid’s teammate at the 2015 Canadian Junior World Championships.
Of course, his name engraved on several more individual trophies won’t fill the void for McDavid in his quest for the Cup. He’s scheduling an Edmonton game review and would like it to continue until June.
“I think everyone watches the Oilers almost every night because of what a special player he is,” Strome said. “Obviously the next step is winning. He does everything in his power to do so.”
PHILADELPHIA. Danny Brier is not averse to uttering a word his predecessor deliberately avoided when charting the best course for the abandoned Flyers: recovery.
Brier knows the Flyers are in disarray — the team’s doldrums — a topic that former general manager Chuck Fletcher rarely broached head-on — and is using the time he has as interim CEO to show that he is the man who can fix them.
It starts with the bitter truth.
“I don’t think it’s a quick fix,” Brier said. “This is my belief, and that is why I am not afraid to use the word “rebuild”.
Brier was named interim general manager and replaced Fletcher after he was fired after 4 1/2 seasons and only one playoff appearance. The Flyers have just 24 wins, their 59 points are third in the Eastern Conference, and will miss the playoffs for the third consecutive season.
Yes, the record was terrible, but what ultimately doomed Fletcher was his failure to come up with a true plan to turn the Flyers into a perpetual playoff team. This season, he touted the Flyers as a playoff team, even with an inappropriate roster of aging players, overrated veterans, too few prospects, and so many injured players like Cam Atkinson And Ryan Ellis – It was easy to understand that the season in Philadelphia will be long.
Well, easy for everyone but Fletcher.
Coach John Tortorella was blunt about the tough days ahead of him from day one on the job and never backed down from the fact that the Flyers need a multi-year process to become a playoff team. The low point came in December when Tortorella said in various press conferences that same day that the team was “not even in the base, we’re in the footer” while Fletcher said the Flyers were still in the wild game. sign. place and he expected them to remain competitive for the remainder of the season.
The Flyers, who open a seven-game home stand this week, have won two games since Feb. 9 and are on a three-game losing streak.
Brier advocated hiring Tortorella, and the pair are on the same page when it comes to the hard work needed to at least make the Flyers competitive, not to mention chasing Philadelphia’s first Stanley Cup since 1975. .
“What really struck me was how he was going to restore the culture here,” Brière said. “Looking back at the last couple of years, it was hard to watch at times. I felt it was easy to play against us. You don’t realize how important culture is until you lose it.”
Brier, 45, a beloved former Flyer who led the team to their last Stanley Cup Finals in 2010, has one caveat when it comes to recovery.
“I want to make sure the rebuild doesn’t mean a sellout,” he said. “We’re not going to get rid of everyone.”
Brière is likely to be of great importance in the direction of the franchise. The temporary label is not expected to catch on, and his rapid growth within the organization likely means he will land a full-time job. Brier said the temporary tag “was the right decision” for now, and team chairman Dave Scott said a “restructuring” of the front office was in the works. Fletcher also served as team president. Flyers will now use two people in these roles.
Brier was also quick to say that he respects Flyers veterans Bobby Clarke, Bill Barber, Paul Holmgren and Dean Lombardi, but doesn’t know how the four will influence future decisions.
The Flyers have only three free agents – and the failure of Fletcher James van Riemsdyk there was an organizational black eye at the exchange deadline — and plenty of veterans like Atkinson, Kevin Hayes, Travis Konechny And Ivan Provorov all on the hook for huge salaries for several seasons. Moving them can be a problem. Brier said that while some younger players such as Noah Cates, Owen Tippett And Cam York may be fundamental elements, no flyer will be left untouched in trade negotiations this summer.
Briere must now think ahead, not just for this offseason, but chart the future for many seasons beyond.
Sketch the right perspective. Sign and trade for healthy, productive players. Keep your talent from regressing. Don’t look for labels. It’s a healthy cocktail that has eluded the Flyers for a decade.
Brier is ready to take on the challenge.
“Oh, I have no doubt…