“Heartfelt effort” – Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid inspires the team for heading into the next round

Connor McDavid played as the difference-maker in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Calgary Flames.

Edmonton Oilers
Edmonton Oilers

The 25-years-old captain of the Edmonton Oilers Connor McDavid plays the role of a difference-maker in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, as the Edmonton Oilers head to their first Battle of Alberta against the Calgary Flames. The Edmonton Oilers and the Calgary Flames are going to start the best-of-7 Western Conference Second Round at Scotiabank Saddledome on Wednesday, at 9.30 pm E.T.

Connor McDavid won his fourth Art Ross Trophy as NHL’s top-scoring leader with a career-best of 123 points with 44 goals and 79 assists in 80 games, following up with 14 points in a 7-game first-round series victory against the Los Angeles Kings. Edmonton Oilers scored o win both Game 6 and 7, while McDavid further helped the team rally from down 3-2 against the Kings.

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Connor McDavid plays the role of a difference-maker

Edmonton Oilers
Edmonton Oilers players’ celebration

Jay Woodcroft, the Oilers coach stated, “I’ve seen him since his first day in the organization and he’s come a long way”. “He is not only physically mature, but he’s emotionally and intellectually matured as well. He’s somebody who is not afraid to speak up and let his teammates know what he expects.”

He further went on, “I think the best teammates are the ones that it’s not always from the throat but it’s from the heart and in people that lead by example. So he backs up those words, and they carry a lot of weight. His play has been very inspired. It’s inspiring his teammates. He’s driving us forward.”

Part of Connor McDavid’s determination stemmed from the recent playoff failures where McDavid had been on the losing side of 3 straight series and missed the playoffs entirely in 2 seasons after his first playoff series with the Edmonton Oilers against the San Jose Sharks in the 2017 Western Conference First Round where the team registered a 6 game victory.

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As recorded on nhl.com, Mike Smith, the goaltender of the Oilers stated, “He feels an obligation to lead by example”. “His true character really came out in the first round here and everyone’s seen how determined he was to go out there and put the team on his back and do what really good captains do. And that was put his money where his mouth is and he’s gone out there and done that, and guys have followed his lead. And, and I’m sure he’ll continue to do that.”

Woodcroft, the head coach of the Edmonton Oilers added by saying, “I saw a player really committed to the defensive side of things”. “Somebody who’s prepared to pay a price physically and to do little things that don’t necessarily show up on the final game sheet but they’re key to winning. In order to win at this time of year, I think you need those efforts.

“As I said, the League is narrowed. It’s not a first-effort league right now, it’s a second-and third-effort league. And the most important thing is it’s a find-a-way league right now. You’ve got to find a way to continue to improve you have to find a way to solve issues that other teams present you and we’re lucky because our leader led the way.”

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