POST-GAME: The makings of McDavid's first 60-goal season
The Oilers captain added '60-goal scorer' to his arsenal of ability and one the greatest seasons we've seen in the NHL in decades on Wednesday nightby Jamie Umbach @JamieUmbach / EdmontonOilers.com
EDMONTON, AB - What goes into scoring 60 goals in a season?
The materials of the first 60-goal campaign of Connor McDavid's career can be seen, heard and felt in the milestone marker's make-up and the motions to which the moment was experienced by the captain, his teammates, coaches and the whole of Oil Country on Wednesday night at Rogers Place.
There have been the ones who said he couldn't do it. There's been plenty of adversity. There have been late nights in the gym, early mornings for practice, frustrating moments, missed chances and sticks slammed into the backboards for not finishing a golden opportunity.
But there have always been believers. There's always been another opportunity for McDavid to score that sublime goal, and it's almost always connected to an equally awe-inspiring pass from his ride-or-die in Leon Draisaitl.
"It's pretty special," Draisaitl, who provided the primary assist on McDavid's 60th goal and is one of his biggest supporters, said post-game on Wednesday. "Obviously he's going to downplay it as we all know, but it's pretty hard to score in this league and to score 60 in a season. To still have ten games to go is pretty remarkable. He's just a special player."
Wednesday's overtime winner for McDavid in a 4-3 overtime victory over the Arizona Coyotes encapsulated just what's gone into the journey to 60 goals for the world's best player, who has been redefining this season what it takes to reach that milestone and carry that title.
"He's obviously doing it and he's worked extremely hard at it," Draisaitl added. His captain has been near unbeatable this season, and McDavid's first 60-goal campaign in the eighth year of his generational career felt like an inevitable reality for everyone in the Oilers organization and the rest of the NHL.
"I think what a lot of people don't really see is he put so much work into every little detail of his game and at some point, it was going to happen that way regardless," Draisaitl added.
RELEASE: Oilers to celebrate Pride on March 25
Hockey club will be showing support for diversity, inclusion and 2SLGBTQ+ communities while 50/50 will benefit MacEwan University's Centre for Sexual and Gender Diversityby Press Release @EdmontonOilers / EdmontonOilers.com
EDMONTON, AB - The Edmonton Oilers will be showing their support for diversity, inclusion and 2SLGBTQ+ communities when they host the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday, March 25 at Rogers Place -- and the largest 50/50 raffle in professional sports will support MacEwan University's Centre for Sexual and Gender Diversity (CSGD).
The NHL's United by Hockey Mobile Museum is also stopping in ICE District Plaza on March 25 to celebrate the game's trailblazers, change-makers and business leaders spanning across multiple under-represented and multicultural demographics.
During the game, Pride colours will take over Rogers Place and Oilers players will use Edmonton's own Pride Tape on their sticks during warmup. The sticks will be auctioned at a later date with the net proceeds donated to the CSGD. There will also be a series of information booths on the main concourse at Rogers Place where fans can learn more about Pride Tape, the CSGD and Who's Hockey -- the first release in the Hockey is for Everyone children's book series in partnership with the NHL, co-authored by Pride Tape co-founder Jeff McLean.
The Oilers will also be showcasing a number of 2SLGBTQ+ community leaders whose work has helped make Oil Country a more inclusive place for everyone, including Oilers anthem singer Robert Clark, who will be joined on the ice by a number of local allies and fellow changemakers.
GAME RECAP: Oilers 4, Coyotes 3 (OT)
Connor McDavid scored twice, including his 60th goal of the season, to give the Oilers a 4-3 overtime win over the Coyotes on Wednesday nightby Michael Arcuri @arcurimike / EdmontonOilers.com
EDMONTON, AB - Connor McDavid saved his best for last, scoring his 60th goal of the season in sensational fashion to give the Edonton Oilers a 4-3 overtime win over the Arizona Coyotes on Wednesday night.
"At the end of the day, they're all just a number," McDavid said about the goal. "But 60, a lot of great players in the past have done it and it feels good to join that list. Obviously, we've got a lot of work left this year and we're looking forward to putting ourselves in a good spot heading into the postseason."
"Yeah, it's pretty special," Leon Draisaitl said about the goal. "I mean, obviously he's going to downplay it as we all know, but it's pretty hard to score in this league and to score 60 in a season and still have 10 games to go is pretty remarkable. He's just a special player."
The milestone marker was part of a two-goal night that made McDavid the first Oiler to eclipse the 60-goal plateau since Wayne Gretzky accomplished the same feat during the 1986-87 season. Not to be outdone, Draisaitl assisted all four Oilers goals on the night to tie his career high of 110 points, while Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored twice in the win to reach 33 goals.
Clayton Keller extended his point streak to 10 games with a pair of goals on the night for Arizona, while defenceman J.J. Moser notched the other Coyotes goal.
Stuart Skinner was back between the pipes for the Oilers in a rather quiet evening for the goaltender. The 24-year-old needed to make just 14 saves on the night for his 23rd win of the season, while his counterpart in the Coyotes goal in Connor Ingram was excellent on the evening by turning away 27-of-31 shots in the loss.
The Oilers will now wrap up their homestand with a massive Saturday night matchup against the Pacific Division-leading Vegas Golden Knights.
LIVE BLOG: Oilers vs. Coyotes
Get minute-by-minute updates from Rogers Place as the Oilers aim for their fifth straight win on Monday against the Coyotesby Jamie Umbach @JamieUmbach / EdmontonOilers.com
The Edmonton Oilers aim for their fifth straight victory on Monday night when they host the Arizona Coyotes at Rogers Place.
You can watch the game on Sportsnet West or listen on the Oilers Radio Network, including 630 CHED.
Follow along with our in-game blog for tweets, highlights, updates and more.
PRE-GAME REPORT: Oilers vs. Coyotes
The Oilers continue their three-game homestand with a Wednesday night matchup at Rogers Place against the Arizona Coyotesby Michael Arcuri & Jamie Umbach @arcurimike / EdmontonOilers.com
The Edmonton Oilers welcome the Arizona Coyotes to Rogers Place for a Wednesday night matchup.
You can watch the game on Sportsnet West or listen live on the Oilers Radio Network, including 630 CHED.
Subscribe to Oilers+ to unlock the Pre-Game Show that will begin at 8:00 p.m. MT, along with more exclusive live and behind-the-scenes content.
BLOG: Edmonton Oilers earn top honours in NHLPA Player Poll
McDavid, Draisaitl and Rogers Place ice voted among the league's best by the NHLPA in their annual pollby Michael Arcuri @arcurimike / EdmontonOilers.com
EDMONTON, AB - Oilers fans know they get to witness the best of the best, and today the players around the National Hockey League confirmed that fact.
The annual NHLPA Players Poll was released on Wednesday morning, with the opinions of 626 NHL players represented in the results. The best of the NHL were canvassed on a variety of on-and-off the ice topics, and once again the Edmonton Oilers were littered throughout the results.
First and foremost, Connor McDavid was voted as the forward most players would want on their team in a must-win game, garnering the lion share of the vote at 59.3 per cent -- a whopping 48.3 percentage points better than the second-place vote getter Sidney Crosby. McDavid, who is in the midst of the most historic season of the salary cap era, bolstered his lead in the category he won over the Penguins icon in last year's poll. In 2021-22, the Oilers captain finished with 42.4 per cent of the vote, compared to the second-place Crosby's 17.4 per cent.
The players choice was made with ample reason. This year, McDavid has been more likely to register at least four points in a game (10 times) than he is to be shut out (seven times) -- a pretty good trait to have in a must-win game.
RELEASE: Oilers sign Carl Berglund to entry-level contract
Forward played four seasons at UMass Lowell, scoring 27 points in 36 games during the 2022-23 campaign as captain of the River Hawksby Press Release @EdmontonOilers / EdmontonOilers.com
EDMONTON, AB - The Edmonton Oilers have signed forward Carl Berglund to a two-year entry-level contract commencing with the 2023-24 season.
Berglund, 23, recently wrapped up his senior year at UMass Lowell, appearing in 36 games with 12 goals and 15 assists for 27 points as captain of the River Hawks.
Born in Hammaro, Sweden, the 6-foot-2, 207-pound centre skated in 114 career games over the past four seasons for the River Hawks, collecting 89 points on 36 goals and 53 assists.
Prior to his time in the NCAA, Berglund spent one season (2018-19) with the USHL's Sioux Falls Stampede, tallying five goals and 11 assists for 16 points, along with another two goals and two assists in 10 playoff games, helping the club capture the Clark Cup title.
Before coming to North America, he spent two seasons in Sweden's top junior league with Färjestad BK, skating in 59 games and scoring 20 goals with 29 assists for 49 points.
Berglund has also signed an AHL amateur tryout agreement (ATO) and will report to Edmonton's affiliate club, the Bakersfield Condors.
BLOG: Oilers press on with their process at Tuesday's practice
"What you've got to do is continually make sure that you're doing your work, that you're seeing things clearly and that you address things head-on," Coach Woodcroft saidby Jamie Umbach @JamieUmbach / EdmontonOilers.com
EDMONTON, AB - "We want to bridge the gap or close the gap to the best teams in the National Hockey League," Head Coach Jay Woodcroft said at Rogers Place following Tuesday's practice.
"In order for our team and our group this year to do that, there are some things that have to get done."
The Edmonton Oilers held their morning meeting on Tuesday before taking to the ice for practice as they continue to hammer away at their process in preparation for the Stanley Cup Playoffs over the remaining 11 games of their regular-season schedule.
"We're trying to finish as high as we can, we're trying to gain as many points as we can, but probably most importantly... we want to make sure our game is in the right place," he added. "We want to make sure that we're using these last 11 dress rehearsals in the right manner so that we're ready when Game 83 hits.
"We're not going to be perfect, but we hope to capture learning moments and improve and get better so that we are ready for Game 83."
Tuesday was a maintenance day for the likes of Connor McDavid, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Leon Draisaitl, Mattias Ekholm and Darnell Nurse, but included a hard 30-minute, competition-focused skate for the rest of the roster under the lead of assistant coaches Glen Gulutzan, Dave Manson and Mark Stuart before Wednesday's visit to Rogers Place from the surging Arizona Coyotes, who've won four straight and are 6-2-2 in their last 10 games.
POST-GAME: Coach's challenge comes up big for the Oilers
The Sharks had a trio of goals overturned via coach's challenge on Monday, helping the Oilers to pick up the 5-4 OT victoryby Michael Arcuri @arcurimike / EdmontonOilers.com
EDMONTON, AB - With the Sharks circling, it was the Oilers video staff that tossed the team a lifeline.
A hat-trick of coach's challenges took three goals off the board for San Jose and played its part in Edmonton's 5-4 overtime victory over the Sharks on Monday night. The review process between Video Coach Jeremy Coupal, Video Coordinator Noah Segall and Head Coach Jay Woodcroft has been near perfect for the Oilers this season with only a single challenge that hasn't swayed their way all year.
"We have two video coaches that do a really good job for us, and we have a process that we believe in," Woodcroft said. "We spend a lot of time studying what gets called around the league. We ask a lot of questions. In the end, when you do your work like that, when the pressure time comes, we have a process that we follow. Tonight we were proven right on a few, but it wouldn't happen without Jeremy and Noah."
The Sharks looked to have opened the scoring just 1:14 into the game when Tomas Hertl found the time to pick the top corner on Jack Campbell, but upon a further look from upstairs, it was apparent that Alexander Barbanov lost control of the puck and entered the Oilers zone offside.
The Oilers were also dinged by the review process in the first period when Zach Hyman had his seventh overturned goal of the season after he was deemed to have interfered with James Reimer on his taken-back first-period tally.
A later goaltender interference call on the Sharks' Andreas Johnsson and an offside call on Noah Gregor on a Sharks two-on-one set the NHL record for the most goals overturned in a single National Hockey League game since the NHL review process began in 2015-16 with four.
GAME RECAP: Oilers 5, Sharks 4 (OT)
Ekholm scored twice before Nurse netted the overtime winner as the Oilers defencemen led the way in a 5-4 win over the Sharks at Rogers Place on Mondayby Jamie Umbach @JamieUmbach / EdmontonOilers.com
EDMONTON, AB - Defenceman Mattias Ekholm scored twice, tying the game on his eighth goal of the season with 3:47 left in regulation, before Darnell Nurse secured the Edmonton Oilers the extra point with 15 seconds on the clock in overtime on Monday night in a 5-4 victory over the San Jose Sharks at Rogers Place.
"I thought at home, that was great that he found those two very important goals at important junctures in the game," Head Coach Jay Woodcroft said. "For Darnell to get the one in overtime, I thought it was excellent."
Ekholm earned the decision in the Battle of the EK's, besting San Jose defenceman and Norris Trophy candidate Erik Karlsson, who was vital to the Sharks push for the win on Monday with two goals but couldn't chase down Nurse in the final moments of sudden death.
"We could have been a lot better tonight I thought, but at the same time, these games are hard," Ekholm said. "You've got to work yourself up, you got to get yourself going, and we snuck it out. Obviously we could have been better, but it's hard to win in this league, so we'll take it and move on."
Sharks goaltender James Reimer made 46 saves on 51 shots, including a massive last-minute stop on Leon Draisaitl, but couldn't come up with the final save when Nurse flew down the bench side of the ice late in extra time and beat the netminder five-hole for the game-winner.
"I think we can contribute from the back end," Ekholm said. "I think we have great guys up front that can do it, so it's going to be a team effort and especially come playoffs, I know how big that is because obviously anyone that plays Edmonton is going to have a pretty heavy emphasis on those two guys (McDavid and Draisaitl). All the other guys need to step up."
Kailer Yamamoto had a goal and assist for the Oilers, providing the pass up the wall that led to Nurse's OT winner, while Leon Draisaitl, Connor McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins all contributed two helpers in the victory. Making his first start since Mar. 4, netminder Jack Campbell stopped 28-of-32 shots for his 18th win of the campaign.
The Oilers are now winners of four games in a row overall and six straight over the Sharks, including all five meetings during the 2023 calendar year. Edmonton now owns a record of 40-23-8 with 88 points, good for third in the Pacific Division and a five-point on the Seattle Kraken with two extra games played.
The Oilers look to keep their solid 15-game stretch at Rogers Place (10-1-4) rolling into Wednesday's meeting with the Arizona Coyotes.