Connor McDavid is doing something special in the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
After an impressive 123-point regular season, McDavid has somehow found another level in the postseason. The 25-year-old phenom leads the entire NHL in playoff scoring with 23 points in only 10 games.
It’s easy to tell by watching McDavid that he’s currently the best player in the NHL. And it isn’t really by a narrow margin either. But to really understand just how special McDavid has been in the playoffs, you need to examine the stats.
Here are five ridiculous Connor McDavid stats from the 2022 NHL Playoffs:
McDavid vs Previous Playoff Scoring Leaders
McDavid is currently playing in Round 2 of the 2022 NHL Playoffs vs the Calgary Flames. Despite not even being halfway to the ultimate goal of winning the Stanley Cup, McDavid has already outscored several previous playoff scoring leaders. In just 10 postseason games, McDavid has already outscored the leading postseason scorer in the 2011,2012,2015 and 2019 NHL playoffs.
Through just 10 games, Connor McDavid has already matched or surpassed the scoring leaders from the entire 2011, 2012, 2015, and 2019 postseasons. 🤯 pic.twitter.com/KrLeyGZBFM
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) May 23, 2022
Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin currently holds the record for most points in a single playoff run in the salary cap era with 36. If McDavid were to keep producing at his current rate and reach the Cup Final, he would surely top Malkin’s record. The all-time single playoff scoring record belongs to Wayne Gretzky, who racked up 47 points in 18 postseason games during the 1980s.
McDavid vs Crosby Conn Smythe Comparison
Before McDavid entered the NHL in 2015, Pittsburgh Penguins’ captain Sidney Crosby was widely considered the best hockey player in the world. Crosby has won three Stanley Cups during his 17-season NHL career, including in 2009, 2016 and 2017. After Pittsburgh won their second Stanley Cup of the Crosby era in 2016, Sid the Kid was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP. In 24 playoff games, Crosby recorded six goals and 19 points.
McDavid already has more points in the 2022 playoffs than the 2016 Conn Smythe winner had during his entire Cup run. Crosby also repeated as the Conn Smythe winner the following year with eight goals and 27 points in 24 games. McDavid is currently only four points back of Crosby’s 2017 playoff points total despite having played 15 fewer games. It’s possible that even if the Oilers get eliminated from the playoffs in Round 2, McDavid would still finish as the 2022 postseason scoring leader.
McDavid Insane Points Per Game Rate
Connor McDavid is scoring at a rate that is almost unprecedented in NHL playoff history. Despite playing in the modern era of the NHL, McDavid is producing at a rate similar to the NHL Legends of the 80s.
Here are the highest playoff points per game in NHL history (minimum 10 GP):
- Wayne Gretzky 2.61 PPG (1985)
- Wayne Gretzky 2.38 PPG (1983)
- Connor McDavid 2.30 PPG (2022)
- Mario Lemieux 2.27 PPG (1992)
- Wayne Gretzky 2.26 PPG (1988)
To really put this into perspective, you need to understand how high-scoring the NHL was in the 1980s and 1990s. The leading scorer typically had over 200 points, while multiple players would have 100-plus points. NHL goalscoring was so high in the 80s because goalies barely wore any equipment and defense wasn’t considered a priority. An NHL player from the salary cap era posting stats similar to a superstar from the 80s is unheard of.
McDavid’s Multi-Point Game Tear
McDavid isn’t just exploding offensively in particular games for the Oilers. The young phenom is stringing together multi-point games at a remarkably consistent rate. After leading the NHL with 45 multi-point games during the regular season, McDavid has taken the consistency to another level in the postseason. The Edmonton captain recorded two or more points in all but one of Edmonton’s first 10 playoff games in 2022. According to Sportsnet Stats, McDavid is the first player in NHL history to record nine multi-point games within the first 10 contests of a single postseason.
McDavid becomes the first player in NHL History to begin a post-season with nine multi-point games in the opening 10 games. #Oilers
— Tony Brar (@TonyBrarOTV) May 23, 2022
This insane multi-point statistic is the one stat that McDavid does hold the edge over Gretzky. Even though “the Great One” put up insane numbers during a different era back in the 80s, he never recorded as many multi-point games through 10 games as McDavid did in the 2022 postseason.
McDavid Quickest to 20 Playoff Points
Given the insane point per game rate McDavid is producing at during the 2022 NHL Playoffs, this next stat should come as no surprise. McDavid is the fastest active NHL player to reach the 20-point mark in the NHL Playoffs. McDavid only required nine games to reach the 20-point mark in the 2022 Playoffs, which is the fewest amount of games since Pittsburgh’s Mario Lemieux in 1992.
Oilers Playoff Record with McDavid
We’ve established in this article that McDavid is on the verge of history with his incredible 2022 playoff performance. The stats don’t lie when comparing McDavid to the NHL legends of the past. Given the insane skill of McDavid, one would logically assume the Oilers have had tremendous amounts of postseason success since drafting McDavid in 2015. That hasn’t been the case, however, as Edmonton is only 14-17 in the playoffs with McDavid (including 2020 qualifying round). Even With McDavid’s production this year, the Oilers are only 6-4 so far in the 2022 postseason.
Edmonton’s lackluster record with McDavid in the playoffs tells us the team is heavily dependent on the superstar. Unlike Pittsburgh did with Crosby, the Oilers haven’t been able to build a championship-caliber team around McDavid. Edmonton’s inability to build around McDavid has somewhat to do with the captain’s $12.5M cap hit, but it’s hard to argue that McDavid hasn’t earned every cent of his contract. While McDavid hasn’t been able to lead the Oilers to Lord Stanley yet, he’s well on the way to changing that narrative in 2022.