Draisaitl: McDavid showed he's best player in world in Games 6, 7
To advance past the opening round for the first time since 2017, the Edmonton Oilers needed a monster series from their superstars.
Thanks to some sheer dominance from Connor McDavid, that's exactly what they got.
"He's the best player in the world. I think he showed that in the last two games," Leon Draisaitl said after the Oilers' 2-0 Game 7 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night. "It's not skill - there's lots of skill, obviously, with him that's a given. It's the will, right? You can see it in his eyes, you can feel it every shift that he's out there. He's determined.
"There was just no way that he, or us, were gonna be denied. He led the way. He was amazing."
McDavid leads all skaters with 14 points in the playoffs. He logged two goals and three assists in the do-or-die Games 6 and 7.
He really dazzled in Game 7, recording over 27 minutes of ice time - including 23:40 at five-on-five - and scoring the late dagger that put the game out of reach for the Kings. Edmonton also controlled a whopping 72.58% of the expected goals with McDavid on the ice at five-on-five, according to Natural Stat Trick.
Draisaitl was no slouch, either. His nine playoff points are tied for second on the Oilers' roster, and he suited up for over 22 minutes in Game 7 while clearly playing through an ailment sustained in Game 6.
"Our best players have been our best players this series. If you want to win ... your best players got to be at the top of their game or better," said Mike Smith, who pitched a 29-save shutout. "(McDavid and Draisaitl) were horses for us, and they were leaders - and everyone else followed and did their jobs."
He continued, "They sure did a heck of a job to get us pushed in the right direction. ... Tremendous effort by both guys. ... When the game was on the line, those guys were there playing their best hockey."
Next up, the Oilers turn their attention to Round 2 against either the Calgary Flames or Dallas Stars.
"It's big, of course. It feels good, we're obviously not done. This isn't the end, we haven't reached anything, but it feels good to do it with this group," Draisaitl said. "We've been through stuff ... for a lot of years, a lot of ups and downs, a lot of negative stuff. It feels great to have this feeling right now."