In Ken Hitchcock’s first game behind the Edmonton Oilers bench, he showed he has no qualms about letting Connor McDavid do his thing. McDavid was given every opportunity to perform playing a season-high 23:46 at even-strength and perform he did. Hooking up with Leon Draisaitl, they combined for a game-high 3 points each and connected for the overtime winner only 51 seconds in.
McDavid’s even-strength time is a bit skewed because the Oilers had a season-low 11 seconds of power play minutes but he also tied a season-high with 30 total shifts in the game. Hitchcock was getting him out there as often as he could.
McDavid used his speed and smarts all night and didn’t show any sign of slowing down in his extra ice-time. Hitchcock is known for being a defensive-minded coach but one game in it doesn’t look like he has any plans to hold his star player back. All in all a great start for Hitchcock, knocking off the top team in the Pacific division.
(Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)