McDavid, Oilers staying even-keeled amid wins: 'We're still behind the 8-ball'
Still sitting well outside the playoff picture at 7-12-1, captain Connor McDavid said the team's focus must remain on digging out of a disastrous start to the campaign.
"Obviously it's big, but all it is is two wins, and we need another one on Tuesday (against the Vegas Golden Knights)," McDavid said, per NHL.com. "We just have to keep rolling our game over, and that's all there is to it.
"The team game has definitely been simpler. (It's) something that we talked about, and you know I thought guys have done a great job of buying into that. We're a good forechecking team, we really are. And when we use that to our strength, we can make it a half ice game pretty quick. That's something that we need to keep doing."
McDavid had a five-point performance in Sunday's win over the Ducks, now owning three goals and 12 points over his current four-game point streak. The three-time reigning Art Ross Trophy winner has seven goals and 25 points in 18 games as he closes in on the NHL leaders after a slow start of his own.
“It's not surprising,” winger Zach Hyman said of McDavid's recent play. “You look how far away he was from everybody the last couple of years. Everybody goes through stretches like this. It just happened to be at the beginning of the year. When that happens you start to think “Oh, what is happening?’ And it wasn’t just him. It was the whole team. It's everybody.
"It's been a good couple games here, but we've got to keep building and we're still behind the 8-ball."
Following Tuesday's game against the Golden Knights, the Oilers will visit the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday before enjoying a six-day break. Things then heat up with the Oilers playing 10 games over the final 21 days of the month.