Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl
Photo credit: OilersNation

Oilers on top of NHL since camera caught McDavid and Draisaitl moment

Published May 2, 2024 at 1:36 PM

It's hard to believe that earlier this season this Oilers team was near last place in the league and had to fire their coach. The team hit rock bottom as Knoblauch came in, and a camera caught one moment that changed the trajectory of the Oilers year.

On November 22nd this year, just a week and a half after Knoblauch was hired, the Oilers were losing badly to the Carolina Hurricanes when Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl tapped each other solemnly in an act of support and solidarity. Since that moment, the Oilers finished the rest of the year with the best record in the NHL. For many fans, it's the clear turning point of the season.

Since that moment, the Oilers have an incredible record of 44-16-5. That's the best record in the league, two wins above the highly respected Carolina Hurricanes. Of course, there's much more that has contributed to turnaround of the Oilers season, like sending down Jack Campbell and Coach Knoblauch fixing some defensive systems. But it's moments like these, coming from the emotional leaders of the team, that carries a lot of weight in the locker room.

After last night's series win over the Los Angeles Kings, Connor and Leon reconnected with the same kind of glove tap. It seems like a gesture of pledging their belief in one another.

It's the ninth year of the McDavid era in Edmonton, and everything feels different this year. The team is deeper and more balanced than it's ever been, rectified their penalty kill to match their historic powerplay, and they're receiving consistent quality goaltending from the sophomore Stuart Skinner. Most importantly, it looks like McDavid and Draisaitl simply won't be denied a Stanley Cup this year.

Now, the Oilers and their fans will be keeping a close eye on the remainder of the Vancouver-Nashville series. The teams have tracked back to Nashville for game 6, with the Canucks looking to punch their ticket to play the Oilers in the second round in a Canadian rivalry showdown.
May 2   |   130 answers
Oilers on top of NHL since camera caught McDavid and Draisaitl moment

Do you think this moment between McDavid and Draisaitl was the turning point of the year?

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