Remember way back when Connor McDavid had 69 points in 42 games? That was before he ascended to another galaxy with 31 points in 11 games to reach the century mark at 100 points in just 53 games. Simply unbelievable.
We can debate the validity of McDavid’s accomplishment in the North Division for the 28th time like a bunch of chumps – or we can celebrate its sheer improbability with a collection of fun facts about what No. 97 has done this season and over the course of his career.
*McDavid is the first player to get 100 points in 53 games or fewer since Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr did so in 1995-96.
* McDavid’s 68 assists are currently more than the NHL’s co-third leading scorers, Brad Marchand and Mitch Marner, have points. The only NHL players to have more assists than league’s third-highest point total in a season are Wayne Gretzky (seven times) and Bobby Orr (once)).
* McDavid currently holds a 21-point margin over teammate Leon Draisaitl for second in the NHL scoring race. The only players to win the Art Ross by 21 or more points over second place are Gretzky (eight times), Lemieux (twice), Orr (once) Phil Esposito (once) and Gordie Howe (once). McDavid’s margin is the widest since Gretzky won the race by 32 points in 1990-91.
* Earlier this month, McDavid completed his 400th NHL game and sat at 556 points. That’s the seventh-highest total for any player in history after 400 games, trailing only Gretzky (935), Lemieux (774), Peter Stastny (607), Mike Bossy (598), Jari Kurri (570) and Eric Lindros (563).
* McDavid, who turned 24 in January, will clinch his third Art Ross Trophy this season and will pass Gordie Howe as the second-youngest player to win three scoring titles. Howe did so just days before his 25th birthday. Gretzky, McDavid and Howe are the only players to win three scoring titles before turning 25.
* McDavid is the 26th player to record four 100-point seasons and, on Saturday, became the fifth youngest at 24 years and 115 days. The only players to notch four 100-point seasons by a younger age are Gretzky, Lemieux, Sidney Crosby and Dale Hawerchuk.
*The Ted Lindsay Award for most outstanding player tends to vary more than the Hart Trophy for league MVP. Whereas eight players have won the Hart at least three times, six have won the Lindsay three times and only two have won it four or more times. If and when McDavid wins it this season, he’ll become the seventh player to win it three times – and the second youngest.
*Assuming McDavid wins the Hart as well, he’ll be the fourth-youngest player to win two MVPs, trailing Gretzky, Orr and Alex Ovechkin.
So you can hate on McDavid’s 2020-21 because it came in unprecedented circumstances – or you can just stop and celebrate the generational greatness. It’s a lot more fun to do the latter. Just sayin.’