Hitchcock: I think we can play McDavid 25-plus minutes
McDavid played 28 minutes in the Oilers' shootout victory over the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday, and apparently, that type of workload won't be an outlier.
"I think we can play him 25-plus because he plays at 5-on-5 and on the power play," Hitchcock told reporters Friday. "It's a whole different animal if you're killing penalties."
Hitchcock added that McDavid being an "effortless skater" is also a major reason why he'll be able to handle "24-25 minutes a lot."
McDavid has seen a noticeable increase in his ice time since Todd McLellan was fired.
Following Hitchcock's first game behind the Oilers' bench, he marveled at McDavid's stamina.
"His recovery rate, cardio-wise, is astounding," Hitchcock said. "He's able to get back up to speed quickly. That's something we've got to take advantage of. He can come out every second shift if it stays 5-on-5."
The Oilers are 5-2-1 since Hitchcock replaced McLellan, and 5-1-1 with McDavid in the lineup.