The 2017-18 season might prompt McDavid to feel a little bit more like early-years Mario Lemieux: a superlative player whose sensational scoring often wasn’t enough to lift some putrid teams into the playoffs.
Monday served as the exclamation point to what’s been another great season by McDavid, yet it’s difficult to shake the impression that even his superstar work won’t foist the Oilers into the playoffs.
With a scoring pace just a step behind last year’s 100-point masterpiece, McDavid might end up putting together one of the truly great runs for a player whose team missed the playoffs.
From his debut in 1984-85 through the 1988-89 season, Lemieux scored 715 points in just 368 regular season games.
Kucherov’s 40 goals ranked second in the NHL last season, and his 85 points placed him fifth, but Tampa Bay still fell short of the playoffs.
Marian Hossa had some great seasons in his short stay with the Thrashers, with his 100-points season in 2006-07 helping Atlanta actually make the playoffs only to be swept.