Connor McDavid is putting on one of the most dominant playoff performances we’ve ever seen

Connor McDavid is in god mode. 

There are plenty of other ways to describe it from “he looks like he’s in his own personal beer league” to “he can literally do whatever he wants out there” — but godly feels the most apt. We are all mere mortals, bearing witness to an ascent towards a previously unfathomable level of excellence. If the rest of the NHL is here on Earth, Connor McDavid is in another universe right now. In these playoffs, he has simply been otherworldly. 

That was always at least a little bit true for the Best Player In The World, but never quite to this degree. Since he overtook the title of Best Player In The World there have been times where the gap shrank enough to leave room for debate (namely Nathan MacKinnon in 2020 and Auston Matthews in 2022), and each time he’s answered swiftly that any debate is actually absurd. This time, it took just 11 playoff games to make the gap between McDavid and the next best feel astronomical. Otherworldly indeed.

Generally speaking, it’s not good practice in a sport as chaotic as hockey to make any sweeping declarations one way or another after just 11 games. But special players require special circumstances and what we’ve seen out of McDavid in these playoffs goes way beyond that. Sure, it’s an unsustainable heater, but it’s also a historically dominant one that shows the sheer destruction McDavid is capable of. You’ve seen the tape, right? He’s hockey’s closest version to a one-man army — and the numbers back it up.

And then some.

We could stop at points and call it a day. McDavid has 25 already in just 11 games. It’s a mark that already ranks 22nd in the salary cap era with every single player ahead of him playing 20 games or more. His 2.27 points-per-game is the highest of any player to play 10 or more games with the next closest (after teammate Leon Draisaitl this year) being Jake Guentzel and Sidney Crosby in 2017-18 with 1.75. In fact, there have only been two other instances where a player had a higher points-per-game average: Wayne Gretzky in 1982-83 (2.38) and Wayne Gretzky in 1984-85 (2.61). McDavid is the first player in 30 years to average over two points per game in the playoffs, with the last being Mario Lemieux in 1991-92 who also had 2.27 points per game. It’s something that’s only been done six other times in the modern era.

That alone is enough to cement McDavid’s postseason to date as an all-timer, but his play goes beyond that. McDavid has been allowed free rein all over the ice and that’s led to some absolutely exorbitant numbers at five-on-five.

First, some context. 

Author: Lucy Green