The Edmonton Oilers clinched a playoff spot with a 5-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Monday night.
While the Oilers appear locked in to the No. 2 seed in the North Division, nobody is expecting Connor McDavid to slow down anytime soon following last night’s performance.
McDavid delivered a four-point night as Edmonton cruised to a win as a -210 favourite against Vancouver.
The Oilers’ captain is up to 91 points in 50 games.
McDavid now needs nine points over his final six games to reach 100 points in 56 games this season.
Here is the Morning Coffee for Tuesday May 4, 2021.
McDavid closing in on 100
After a four-point night against the Canucks, McDavid is up to 1.82 points per game this season.
In terms of trying to predict if and when he reaches 100 points based on season pace, McDavid’s last six games are proof that we can throw that number out the window.
After all, McDavid has averaged a ridiculous 2.83 points per game over the last two weeks.
A better indicator might be his ice time over that span.
McDavid has played fewer than 22 minutes only twice in his last six games.
He registered four points in each of those two games.
McDavid averaged 17.2 minutes per game in those two four-point outings.
Contrast that number with the following time on ice in the other four games: 27:10, 23:16, 23:37 and 22:00.
Sure, two of those four games were losses, so it makes sense that McDavid had a higher time on ice.
Still, we already know the Oilers will be the second seed in the North Division, so do they really need their captain to play north of 27 minutes in a regular season game this late in the season?
Regardless of motivation, there is no indication that a lack of ice time will cost McDavid the opportunity to get to 100 points.
There will be no load management in Edmonton.
The Oilers have four more games against the Canucks and two more against the Montreal Canadiens.
McDavid has averaged 2.00 points per game in six meetings with Vancouver – 12 points in six games.
He’s averaged just over a point per game versus Montreal – eight points in seven games.
As far as I’m concerned, McDavid will get to 100 points.
The only question is what happens to his ice time once he gets there.
If McDavid gets to 100 points over his next four games, which isn’t unreasonable based on his numbers over the last two weeks, what will his ice time look like over Edmonton’s final three games?
Taking all of this into consideration, I’ll set McDavid’s over/under at 103.0 points.
Whether or not he tops that mark will depend largely on how soon he reaches the century mark and what his level of motivation is to push that point total even higher once he gets to 100.
Caufield the hero again for Habs
While McDavid’s pursuit of 100 points remains the biggest story in the NHL, Cole Caufield is doing something special in Montreal.
Caufield scored his second consecutive overtime winner for the Canadiens (+150) in a 3-2 win over the rival Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday night.
Prior to Caufield’s arrival, the Habs were 2-9 in games that went past regulation.
They’re 2-0 in such situations with Caufield after the 20-year-old netted the OT winner in back-to-back games.
Caufield has averaged just 12:55 in five games for Montreal this season.
The Habs have won four of five to climb to third in the North Division standings.
It will be very interesting to see how the coaching staff manages Caufield’s ice time over the final five games of the regular season, especially with a back-to-back against the second-seeded Oilers to close out the season.
Jets slide reaches seven in a row
While Montreal and Edmonton have heated up of late, no team in the North Division is colder than the Winnipeg Jets.
Connor Brown and Nikita Zaitsev scored for the Ottawa Senators (+130) in a 2-1 win over Winnipeg on Monday night.
Filip Gustavsson made 28 saves in the win.
It was Winnipeg’s seventh straight loss – the franchise’s longest losing streak since the Atlanta Thrashers suffered a nine-game slide in 2009-10.
The Jets have five games to end their free fall before a first round series with either the Maple Leafs or Oilers.
At this point, it appears as though Winnipeg is destined for a showdown with the best team in the division.
Westbrook inches closer to triple-double record
Russell Westbrook recorded 14 points, 21 rebounds and 24 assists as the Washington Wizards (-4.5) beat the Indiana Pacers 154-141 on Monday night.
Westbrook is now four triple-doubles shy of breaking Oscar Robertson’s career triple-doubles record.
It was Westbrook’s second career 20-assist, 20-rebound game – Wilt Chamberlain is the only other player in NBA history to do it once.
Washington pulled three games clear of the Toronto Raptors for the final play-in tournament spot.
As of this morning, the Wizards are now +164 to make the final eight in the playoffs, which would include a play-in tournament win.
Toronto’s odds to reach the final eight are currently off the board