In a recent post on the NHL’s official Facebook page, former coach Randy Carlyle was quick to add that, if the playoffs are to be any kind of predictor of the postseason, it is the quality of the players.
The question is: Can the talent be more than a piece of a team’s puzzle?
In the past two years, the Anaheim Ducks have had to replace two of their top players and coach Bruce Boudreau was fired after three straight playoff appearances.
The Vancouver Canucks lost their top two players, but a new era of youth and depth was just around the corner.
And now, the Edmonton Oilers are facing a playoff drought, with Connor McDavid being a big part of their turnaround.
But with the return of superstar superstar Auston Matthews, the Oilers may have found a new franchise.
As McDavid has emerged as one of the game’s top talents, McDavid and the Oilers have found their first Stanley Cup winner in years, with McDavid’s linemates scoring a combined 20 goals in just five games.
“The guys have come to us and said they want to be part of this,” McDavid said.
“They are really excited to get going.
We’ve had a really good season.
We’re excited to be a part of it.”
While McDavid may have the scoring prowess of the elite, he has been on the ice for much of the Oilers’ success.
And he is one of just two players to have played in every regular season game for the Oilers this season, along with captain Connor McGovern.
“I think Auston’s a huge part of our team,” McLeod said.
“We’ve got a lot of good players, we’ve got young guys, we have good chemistry, so we’ve just got to be ready to take advantage of it.”
He’s just one of those guys that has played in all of these big games and had his time in the spotlight and we’re just going to have to take that time with him.
“McDavid is no stranger to the Stanley Cups, having won the Stanley Championship with the Anaheim Oilers in 2012 and again with the Edmonton Ducks in 2016.
In his five seasons with the Oilers, he recorded three championships, five conference championships, four NHL MVP awards, and one Stanley Cup championship.
McGovern, meanwhile, has also had a good stretch of playoff success, scoring at least 15 goals in five of his last six playoff games, including a hat trick in the Western Conference semifinals.
But McDavid knows McDavid is just a part player and has had a difficult time with the pressure that comes with being a top player.”
For him, it’s about the success,” McGovern said.