FEATURE: McDavid achieves 100 points in historic performance
Oilers Captain records one goal, three assists to score 100 points in 53 games and solidify his stature among hockey's greatest players
EDMONTON, AB - The best there is, dominating like the best there ever were.
Connor McDavid transcended time in a four-point, 4-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks, astounding the hockey world on Hockey Night in Canada by capturing 100 points in 53 games to become the ninth player to achieve such a feat and first since Mario Lemieux in 1995-96.
The cheat code made it look like he was playing a video game on Saturday, controlling the ice in ways only the greatest of all time could - in a manner that only McDavid can.
"It solidifies that he's one of the top players to ever play the game," Oilers Head Coach Dave Tippett, encapsulating McDavid's unbelievable triple-figure achievement, said post-game.
"The level he's played at this year and just what he's accomplished, it's one of those years when you look at Wayne or Mario. He's taken his talents to another level that is just elite for the League."
The ethereal force that skates like the wind and strikes like lightning needed just 45 seconds to score his 32nd goal of the season and a single period to tally three more assists.
After hitting the scoresheet before the blink of an eye, the human highlight reel dropped jaws in the neutral zone with an athletic act of extension, assisting on Jesse Puljujarvi's 15th goal for Point 98.
Like Wayne Gretzky and Jari Kurri, McDavid connected with his triggerman Leon Draisaitl to produce a pair of milestone markers. Draisait's first was his 500th career NHL point and the second cemented McDavid's century mark.
"It's hard to compare eras and hard to compare generations," Draisaitl, when asked about McDavid's status in hockey's history, said.
"The game has changed. Whatever those guys did in the past is impressive. What Connor's doing is impressive. He's right up there with those guys."
McDavid has not crossed the regular-season finish line but is having one of the greatest showings in modern history. With a 1.88 scoring average, the 1st-overall selection in the 2015 NHL Draft would be on pace for 154 points over a full 82-game schedule - a number unseen in over 20 years.
"There are certain times in seasons where you look back and say, 'That was an amazing accomplishment by an elite, elite player.' Any time you can be around that every day, you have to savour those thoughts and the impact he's had on the hockey world," Tippett said.
"It's a thrill and a memory."
No. 97 is in a world of his own with Point 100 and ahead by a century in the 2020-21 scoring race. He holds a 21-point advantage over squadmate Draisaitl and has more assists (68) than every other team's highest point-getter. Like the past legends of the game, there is no ceiling for the 24-year-old generational talent.
"To distance yourself from elite players in the League… It's a special, special year. It adds to the aura of what he's doing," Tippett said.