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State your case: Can McDavid score 50 goals for the Oilers this season?

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Connor McDavid One of the best players in the NHL and on track to become the greatest player of all time.

The Edmonton Oilers center has won the scoring title four times, most recently with 123 points (44 goals, 79 assists) last season. He has also won the Ted Lindsay Award (his MVP of Players) three times for him and the Hart Trophy (league MVP) twice for him.

McDavid scored a season-opening hat-trick against the Vancouver Canucks on October 12, making him the sixth-fastest player to reach 700 points in NHL history.

In 489 NHL games, he scored 702 points (243 goals, 459 assists). No player has scored more points since joining the league at the start of the 2015-16 season. Patrick Kane The Chicago Blackhawks scored 624 points (225 goals and 339 assists) in 534 games.

Despite flashy numbers, McDavid has yet to score 50 goals in a season. He is averaging 34 goals per season and in 2021-22 his NHL career-high 44 goals.

Can the 25-year-old hit the 50-goal plateau this season and add it to his already substantial resume?

Video: McDavid’s First Goal Breakdown

That’s the problem Senior Writer Dan Rosen and Staff Writer Amalie Benjamin face in this installment of State Your Case.

Rosen: Since he joined the NHL seven years ago, it didn’t matter if McDavid could hit 50, but it didn’t matter when. The answer is this season. McDavid has already scored 4 goals in his 2 matches. That is 164 goal pace. Pretty good. OK, he doesn’t score that much, but it’s safe to assume that in the next 80 games he can score 46. He scored 44 in 80 games last season. McDavid has averaged 0.56 goals per game over the past three seasons (in 200 games he has scored 111 goals). This is his 45 goals in 82 games. After a strong start, he will need to average 0.575 goals per game over his next 80 games to reach his 50 goals. McDavid’s key is his ability to drive into the net at speed. He’s almost unstoppable, especially considering the skilled players around him get the puck, especially on power plays. Leon dry cite He’s a good scorer and a good distributor. McDavid and Drei Saitle became the first teammates to score at least his 50 goals in the same season since Mario Lemieux (69) and Jaromir Yagl (62) with his Penguins in Pittsburgh in 1995-96. You can see that The question was always when. The answer is now.

Benjamin: Listen, I’m not saying it’s out of the realm of possibility, but 50 is a big number, even for a player as talented as McDavid. But McDavid is a pass-first player, and at least he has 40 goals, even though he has scored three times, taking the Oilers to the next level after the Oilers reach his Western Conference Finals. I have no doubt that you want to do exactly what you need to do. last season. He wants to prove he’s not just a points machine, he’s a Stanley Cup-winning captain and the greatest player of all time, which means he’s focused on scoring his 50 goals. may not. He’s probably so focused on distributing the puck where it’s needed when it’s needed that it inevitably dilutes his scoring total. He is focused on helping the Oilers become the best team in his conference in the Westerns and the Colorado Cup after he was swept in the conference finals by the Avalanche last season, allowing him to reach the finals. It’s possible McDavid could get there by scoring his 50th goal, but 40-45 goals might be more likely to be his number for the Magic. I think that’s where he ends the season.

Rosen: McDavid is a distributor, but I hesitate to call him a pass-first player. he is a playmaker.He had 314 shots on goal last season. Auston Matthews Toronto Maple Leafs (348), Alex Ovechkin Washington Capital (334), Timo Meyer San Jose Sharks (326) and Kyle Connor (317) of the Winnipeg Jets. He has scored a total of 514 shots on goal over the past two seasons. Only Matthews (570) and Ovechkin (516) are higher. He’s a passer as well as a shooter. In fact, McDavid shot 14.0% of his shots on 314 shots last season, which is just below his 15.2% in his first six seasons and his 2020-21 average. It was even lower than 16.5% (his 33 goals on 200 shots). He’s already had his nine shots in his two games. This suggests he’s looking to take at least as many shots this season as he did in his previous two games. With his quickness, and ability to reach the net decisively, he will be around the scoring area. he’s going to score He can bring his shooting percentage back up to 16.5%. He has over 300 shots on goal. Do the math and he’s right with his 50 goals. Not because he only thinks of himself and his numbers, but because that’s what the Oilers need in a captain.

Benjamin: You’re making a compelling case, Dan. However, it should be borne in mind how rare a 50-goal season is, despite last season’s massive scoring streak. Something still unknown follows. To reach that level, all players must perform well. Even though he’s an all-time great, he’s a likely player to become an NHL great. Yes, last season he achieved it with four players. Chris Crider New York Rangers’ 52 RBI, Ovechkin’s 50 — But only five players have hit 50 in the past nine seasons. 1 (2018-19) and Ovechkin is probably the best pure goalscorer in NHL history.I think Draisaitl will be his third 50-plus season, but I doubt McDavid will . An unsustainable pace for everyone. That’s another question he has. His four 50 goals in 2021–22 As part of his season, NHL scoring has risen across the board. Will it last? perhaps. But I’m still not convinced that McDavid will find the magic and hit 50. Check back with me in March.