Coach Jay Woodcroft says Captain Connor McDavid is an inspiration in the Edmonton Oilers' bid for the Stanley Cup.
(This article was originally published on 18.05.2022)
The Oilers, 15/1 to win the Stanley Cup in 2021/22, beat the Dallas Stars over seven games in the Western Conference First Round to set up a Battle of Alberta in the Second Round against the Calgary Flames.
25-year-old McDavid was a difference maker in the opening round victory over the Kings scoring a playoff leading 14 points (four goals, 10 assists) in the seven games.
With the Oilers 3-2 down in the series, McDavid figured in five of the six goals (two goals, three assists) Edmonton scored to win Games 6 (4-2) and 7 (2-0).
McDavid's hot form in the playoffs followed a regular season where he won his fourth Art Ross Trophy as the NHL's scoring leader after producing a career-high 123 points (44 goals, 79 assists) in 80 games.
He is again a finalist for the Hart Trophy as the NHL's most valuable player, an award which he won unanimously last season.
The Second Round series with the Flames will be their first meeting in the post-season since 1991. The Flames (50-21-11) will have home advantage after finishing seven points ahead of the Oilers (49-27-6) in the Pacific Division.
In 38 career playoff games, McDavid has amassed 36 points (15 goals, 21 assists).
Woodcroft said to the media about McDavid: "He's somebody who is not afraid to speak up and let his teammates know what he expects.
"He backs up those words, and they carry a lot of weight. His play has been very inspired. It's inspiring his teammates. He's driving us forward."