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10/07/2017

Can McDavid score 100 goals?

Can McDavid score 100 goals?

Could Edmonton Oilers' captain Connor McDavid actually score 100 goals in a season as recently-signe Calgary Flames' winger Jaromir Jagr predicts?
The season Wayne Gretzky scored the NHL high 92 goals,
he had 370 shots.
That’s a goal every four shots back in 1981-82.




So, newly-signed Calgary Flames winger Jaromir Jagr saying Connor McDavid could score 100 goals one day, would mean the Edmonton Oilers captain would likely need a shooting percentage in the 25 per cent range to do it.
That’s a mouthful.
“I think 100 goals is impossible,” said Oiler centre Mark Letestu “For him to do that, his shooting percentage would have to be off the charts. What is the high now, 20 per cent?”
Indeed of the top 30 scorers last year, only Jets’ centre Mark Scheifele (32 goals on 160 shots) hit 20 percent. A good year for most shooters these days is 15 per cent.




In Gretzky’s 92-goal season (80 games), 10 guys scored at least 50, including Mark Messier. Mike Bossy finished second to Gretzky with 64 goals and Dennis Maruk had 60. Bossy had 301 shots for a 21.3 percentage and Maruk had 268 shots for 22.4. There were some very good goalies, but also some who made themselves look very small in the net. It’s not the same now.
“I don’t think it’s in his nature (shooting),” Letestu said. “After watching him the last two years, he’s a pass-first guy. But if he decides to dedicate himself to scoring goals I don’t see why he couldn’t get 50 or 60.”
Former Oilers draft pick Jake Brenk and partner Dave Jackson had a very quiet night refereeing Wednesday in Edmonton’s season opener, calling a measly three minor penalties after NHL teams had steady parade to the box in pre-season.




So what happened?
“We were really disciplined. I don’t necessarily think our officials put the whistles away,” laughed Letestu, who played just 9:25 in the opener because he’s part of the Oilers power play and penalty-kill.
“It’s still a trend, they’re really cracking down (slashing), I watched some games (Thursday) night and there were lots of penalties. For the most part we kept our sticks on the ice and eliminated the hack and whack. I expect us to be on the power play more and we’ll have to kill more penalties.”




Normally Letestu’s in the 14-minute range, with even-strength, power play and penalty kill.
“I’ve got my roles to play but it’ll all balance out,” said Letestu, who’s on the first power play and penalty-killing units. “Didn’t happen the first game but there will be nights when I’m out there too much.”
Oscar Klebom’s defence partner Adam Larsson was an interested spectator as he watched his fellow Swede fire pucks. Klefbom had nine shots on Flames goaltender Mike Smith on Wednesday and six more which either went wide or were blocked.
“That’s out of my tool-box, that speed (of shot),” said Larsson. “I tell him to shoot all he wants and go up the ice if you want. I want him to feel comfortable. I know he has an incredibly hard shot. I don’t have anything like the one that went to the goalie’s mask.”




Oilers winger Drake Caggiula, who missed most of the second period Wednesday getting repairs to his lip and his face after colliding with Calgary’s Garnet Hathaway, has a nasty bruise under his left eye but no shiner because they got ice to it. But his lip is pretty swollen still. He’s no pretty face like his North Dakota teammate and Vancouver Canucks rookie winger Brock Boeser.
“I can’t say I was a good looking guy before and I can’t say I am now,” said Caggiula. “I’ll probably have a couple of canker sores around my lip that’ll make it tough to eat.”
Only two Oilers goalies have ever had a shutout in an home-opener — Cam Talbot against Calgary on Wednesday and Nikolai Khabibulin on Oct. 7, 2010, also against Flames. Talbot has 11 shutouts with the Oilers, third best all-time behind Tommy Salo (23) and Curtis Joseph (14). In 10 career games against Vancouver, Talbot has never had a regulation loss, accumulating a 6-0-4 career record with a 1.65 goals against average and three shutouts.




This ’n that: Oilers senior VP of hockey operations, Craig MacTavish, travelled with winger Anton Slepyshev to Stockton for Bakersfield’s AHL opener Friday. It’ll be Slepyshev’s first game on a short conditioning stint to see how his sprained ankle holds up. He should be in Vancouver Saturday with the Oilers but likely won’t play.

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