Connor McDavid Playoff stats
(Photo Credit: Brian Murphy, All-Pro Reels)

Connor McDavid has been a dominant force in the NHL playoffs, putting up historic numbers and carrying the Edmonton Oilers on his back. However, the team’s lack of postseason success has been a source of immense frustration for the generational superstar.

McDavid’s individual playoff stats are simply staggering:

McDavid Playoff Stats

Season Games Played Goals Assists Points Points Per Game
2016-17 13 5 4 9 0.69
2019-20 4 5 4 9 2.25
2020-21 4 1 3 4 1.00
2021-22 16 10 23 33 2.06
2022-23 12 8 12 20 1.67
Career 49 29 46 75 1.53

Through the 2022-23 season, McDavid has appeared in 49 career playoff games, racking up 75 points. His 1.53 points per game in the postseason ranks as one of the highest in NHL history. He has consistently elevated his game on the biggest stage, showcasing his elite skill, speed, and competitiveness.

Historic 2022 Playoff Run

In the 2022 playoffs, McDavid reached new heights with a herculean effort. He put up 33 points in just 16 games, playing at a staggering 2.06 points per game pace as he carried the Oilers to the Western Conference Final.

McDavid’s playoff performance that year was one for the ages. He recorded multiple four-point games, including a hat trick in the decisive Game 7 against the Los Angeles Kings in the first round. His highlight-reel goals and jaw-dropping assists left fans and analysts in awe.

McDavid also brought the intensity in the 2022 Playoffs, recording 18 hits in the first-round series against LA alone. The phenom was determined not to suffer another first-round exit.

Despite facing tough competition and increased physical pressure from opponents, McDavid consistently found ways to take over games and make his teammates better. His leadership and determination were on full display as he willed the Oilers to victories.

Continued Excellence in 2023

McDavid followed up his historic 2022 run with another dominant showing in 2023, recording 20 points in 12 games. He continued to dazzle with his offensive creativity and relentless work ethic.

In the first round against the Kings, McDavid tallied multiple multi-point games, including a three-assist performance in Game 4. His ability to create scoring chances out of nothing and elevate the play of his linemates was crucial in helping the Oilers advance.

However, despite McDavid’s best efforts, the Oilers fell short in the second round against the Vegas Golden Knights. He finished the series with eight points in six games, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the team’s defensive lapses and inconsistent goaltending.

Oilers Playoff Results with McDavid

Here is a summary of the Oilers’ playoff results during the McDavid era:

  • 2016-17: Lost in 2nd round to Anaheim Ducks (4-3)
  • 2019-20: Lost in Qualifying Round to Chicago Blackhawks (3-1)
  • 2020-21: Lost in 1st round to Winnipeg Jets (4-0)
  • 2021-22: Lost in Western Conference Final to Colorado Avalanche (4-0)
  • 2022-23: Lost in 2nd round to Vegas Golden Knights (4-2)

Overall, the Oilers have a 22-27 record in the playoffs with McDavid. They have won just two playoff series in his five appearances, despite his incredible individual performances.

Frustration and Disappointment

After the Oilers’ second-round exit in 2023, McDavid acknowledged the frustration and disappointment of another early playoff loss. However, he also recognized that these experiences are part of the journey to eventual success.

“I really feel like you’ve got to go through some of this to win,” McDavid said following the Game 6 defeat to the Golden Knights. “Obviously, it’s not what you want to do, not what you want to feel. That being said, I really feel that you’ve got to go through some of this to win. I think we’ve seen that all the way through. Let’s hope it’s the last time.”

McDavid has done everything in his power to carry the Oilers, even playing through injuries. His 1.5 wins above replacement in the 2022 playoffs alone would have been enough to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP in most years.

But hockey is a team sport, and one player can only do so much. The Oilers’ defensive issues, goaltending inconsistency, and lack of forward depth have held them back from making deep playoff runs.

The Pressure is on the Oilers

In many ways, the Oilers are built like an NBA team – a couple of superstars surrounded by role players. That model can work in basketball, but the NHL requires more depth and contributions from the entire lineup to win in the playoffs.

The pressure is squarely on the Oilers organization to capitalize on McDavid’s prime and build a true contender around him before the championship window slams shut. They need to address their weaknesses and surround their generational superstar with a more complete roster.

McDavid has proven time and again that he can deliver otherworldly individual performances in the playoffs. He has showcased his elite talent, competitiveness, and leadership on the biggest stage.

Now the Oilers must uphold their end of the bargain and give McDavid the support he needs to reach the ultimate goal of winning the Stanley Cup. They cannot afford to waste any more of his prime years without making significant improvements to the team.

The clock is ticking, and the frustration will only continue to mount if the Oilers don’t find a way to build a championship-caliber roster around their generational captain. McDavid deserves better, and it’s up to the organization to deliver.