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Yep, Connor McDavid is fueling some Oilers’ optimism

Connor McDavid

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid warms up prior to taking on the Ottawa Senators in an NHL hockey game, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016 in Ottawa, Ontario. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT


Yes, it’s probably hasty for the Edmonton Oilers to be looking up hopefully at the Western Conference standings. Seeing two wins shouldn’t sway you during the haul that is an 82-game campaign.

Even so, it’s tough to blame a team and fan base that’s so far removed from meaningful wins (at least beyond the draft lottery).

It’s also true that they’ve absolutely crushed their opponents in Connor McDavid’s two games back.

After beating the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-1 on Tuesday, the Oilers hammered the Ottawa Senators by a lopsided score of 7-2.

After scoring a fantastic goal and adding two assists against Columbus, McDavid generated two more assists on Thursday (both on Jordan Eberle goals) to help Edmonton hammer Ottawa.

It’s foolish to say it’s all No. 97, as only one forward and four skaters failed to score for the Oilers. Still, Oilers fans can say “We’d be closer if Connor didn’t get hurt,” as this burst coincides with his glorious return.

Those murmurs are less interesting than the quieter voices arguing that maybe they can make the playoffs regardless. Without any “What if?” assertions.

Again, it’s not the most realistic thought; Sports Club Stats puts them at a 1.7 percent chance of making the postseason as of this writing.

On the other hand, the Anaheim Ducks aren’t THAT far ahead of the Oilers for the Pacific’s plum third seed, so who knows?

Such thoughts are more enticing than imagining another draft pick, if nothing else.

(Even if, chances are, they’ll likely ultimately settle for another lottery ticket.)