WINNIPEG, MB - The race is on.
The only question is: Can Connor McDavid collect 100 points before reaching the regular-season finish line?
Following an amazing four-point performance on Monday night, which included his third hat trick of the 2020-21 season, McDavid is up to 81 points on the year in just 46 outings.
The Oilers Captain is running laps around his competitors with a 15-point advantage over the National Hockey League's second-highest scorer - none other than teammate Leon Draisaitl - and needs 19 points in the final 10 games to achieve the century mark.
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"It's pretty crazy," defenceman Tyson Barrie said on Tuesday. "I know he's not too worried about it but whether he hits it or not, what he's done this year is respected throughout the League. It would be a nice feather in the cap."
McDavid has been a point machine and human highlight reel throughout the condensed 56-game campaign. There is no containing the speed demon, who displayed his unparalleled acceleration during a breakaway Monday by taking an extra second to check if any defenders were chasing him before dizzying Jets netminder Connor Hellebuyck for his 28th tally. The goal also marked McDavid's ninth regular-season hat trick of his career.
"His thought process and the deception included in that is incredible," Head Coach Dave Tippett said. "The way he sees things on the ice, he's just at another level. He'll buy time to find people coming late or have a look and know where they are, and he'll concentrate on something else but still know where that person is. That's an incredible ability."
McDavid holds a 1.76 points per game pace this year and will need a 1.90 average in the final 10 games to capture 100. Over his career, the 24-year-old generally shifts into high gear later in the schedule, scoring 53 goals, 105 assists and 158 points in 101 career games in March and April.
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"I don't really know how he does it, to be honest," Barrie said. "The way that he's able to push the puck ahead into positions and give himself a step and give himself some extra time, it's pretty special to watch every night."
McDavid is currently on a four-game point streak, registering five goals and seven assists over that span. Even as the games tighten up defensively with the post-season just around the corner, the Oilers Captain hasn't slowed his roll.
"He can beat you wide, he can stickhandle through you, he's got a good shot and he's always looking to pass, too," Barrie added. "I imagine it's just a complete nightmare to try to defend. You're seeing that this year with the stats he's putting up and the way he's driving our team. Just a special player doing special things."