Seravalli: McDavid should be a shoo-in for the Hart Trophy
Connor McDavid has a 17-and-oh record since March 15.
The NHL scoring leader has earned 17 assists in his past 15 games, every one of them a first assist.
Seventeen primary assists. Zero secondary assists.
Not a single “cheesy apple” amongst them.
A league-leading 38 of McDavid’s league-leading 52 helpers this season have been first assists.
This corner has long argued that the only thing more misguided than assists equalling goals in the scoring race is second assists equalling goals in the scoring race.
McDavid has 77 points this season, 13 more than runner-up Leon Draisaitl’s 64.
With 25 goals and 38 first assists totaling 63, McDavid has more primary points than every player in the league other than Draisaitl has total points.
McDavid’s two primary assists Wednesday versus Montreal were the 16th and 17th of a remarkable streak for the game’s most remarkable player.
It is the third longest such streak since 2000-01 and eight shy of Montreal Canadien Bobby Rousseau’s all-time record of 25 straight first assists in 1968-69, according to Randy Robles of the Elias Sports Bureau.
It is but more evidence of how special this season has been for McDavid, as detailed previously by TSN Sr. Hockey Reporter Frank Seravalli.
What makes McDavid’s streak stand out among the six players who have had streaks of at least 17 first assists this millennium is the number of games he has taken to earn them: a mere 15.
He is the only one to average more than one first assist per game over the consecutive assist streak.
Taylor Hall had a 17 first-assist streak as recently as last year, but it was spread over 32 games with two teams (New Jersey and Arizona).
Alex Ovechkin had 18 consecutive first assists over 24 games in 2007-08. It took Brandon Sutter 58 games to match Ovechkin in 2009-10.
Evgeny Kuznetsov (2015-16) and Elias Lindholm (2016-17) each had 19 primary-assist streaks – Kuznetsov over 27 games and Lindholm over 38.
Rousseau, a four-time Stanley Cup winner with Montreal, needed 49 games to set the all-time record.
McDavid last earned a second assist March 13 on Draisaitl’s goal versus Vancouver. Draisaitl has been the primary recipient of McDavid’s largesse during the current streak, scoring six goals off the captain’s first assists.
Add the eight goals McDavid has scored during this period and McDavid has 25 straight primary points.