Connor McDavid’s reputation is well established, but the Edmonton Oilers captain once again impressed everyone with a hat trick against the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday.
After just four minutes of play, the number 97 already had two goals. His efforts on the ice and in the locker room allowed the Oilers to win 6 to 3 and level their qualifying series 1 to 1 against the Hawks.
“When it’s your captain doing it, the others have no choice to follow,” coach Dave Tippett said at a press conference on Tuesday. I’ve seen him for years with Sidney Crosby: he dictates the way we play. Yesterday [lundi], Connor did that for us from the first face-off. He was engaged and he went for a quick goal. ”
“When you have a player like that on your team, it’s an inspiration,” continued the 58-year-old driver. And Connor isn’t a very rough guy, but he inspires others with the way he plays. ”
After a tough 6-4 loss in Game 1, the Oilers needed a performance like McDavid’s. James Neal and Alex Chiasson also did well scoring one goal each; performances that did not escape Tippett.
“Our team responded very well last night [lundi]. I watch guys like Neal and Chiasson, they have a lot of playoff experience. They say the right things, they do the right things. When you have guys like that in your training, it helps the team, ”he recalled.
A goal that makes your eyes widen
McDavid’s second goal was particularly eye-catching. On a nice pass from a teammate, the Ontarian overtook two Chicago defenders before outwitting Corey Crawford with a precise shot.
“He must surely be very high, considering the context and the moment of the game,” replied Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, questioned as to where this goal was among the most beautiful of his line mate. His explosive speed – we know how fast he can be – and his ability to control the puck like that and put it in the top of the backhand net, it’s not easy to have. ”
In August, the quality of the rinks is not at its best, which means that the ice can be rough. McDavid, for his part, perfectly controlled the jolts of the disc, which impressed his trainer.
“I speak from experience, as a former player. You want to be able to find and control the puck. Usually you work on it without thinking about how fast you are going. Connor does it with incredible speed and he surprises the players with it. […] Taking a shot like that, even if the puck kept bouncing, takes elite talent, ”said Tippett.