Connor McDavid is on fire — even by Connor McDavid standards
The NHL's best player is off to a Gretzkyesque start
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1. There were three great goals in the NHL last night
First, the usual suspects. Here's Sidney Crosby:
And look at the speed by Connor McDavid:
But the goal of the night belonged to a much less famous guy. Take it away, Sonny Milano:
2. McDavid and the Oilers are on fire
The NHL's best player racked up five points (that goal and four assists) in last night's 6-3 win over Philadelphia. He now has 17 points through the first seven games of the season. Only one other Oiler has ever done that: Wayne Gretzky, who did it an incredible five times.
McDavid is the early leader in the NHL scoring race, which he lost last season for the first time since his rookie year in 2015-16. In second place is McDavid's teammate Leon Draisaitl, who has 15 points. That kind of top-heaviness didn't work for the Oilers last season, when McDavid and Draisaitl finished second and fourth, respectively, in scoring and Edmonton missed the playoffs by a mile. But it is now: the Oilers are first overall in the league with a 6-1-0 record.
3. The Leafs will be without their captain for awhile
John Tavares broke a finger late in last night's 4-3 loss in Washington. The Leafs announced today that'll he'll miss a minimum of two weeks, and then he'll be reassessed by the team's medical staff. Tavares was named captain on opening night. He has three goals and four assists in eight games this season.
Another interesting note from that game: Capitals defenceman John Carlson had a goal and two assists to raise his point total to 14. He's, surprisingly, third in the scoring race behind McDavid and Draisaitl.
4. Every NHL team now has at least one loss — but not everyone has a win
Colorado's perfect season was ruined by a 3-2 overtime defeat last night in Pittsburgh, which dropped the Avalanche to 5-0-1. It was a bad beat: the Avs had a 4-on-3 power play in OT when Gabriel Landeskog knocked the winning goal into his own net as he tried to clear a bouncing puck out of the crease:
On the other end of the spectrum, there's only one team still looking for its first win: New Jersey, which is 0-4-2. Head coach John Hynes looks to be on thin ice after the Devils made the unusual (and pretty insulting) move of adding assistant general manager Tom Fitzgerald to the coaching staff yesterday.
5. The marathon and race walk events for the 2020 Olympics were moved way north because Tokyo is too hot
They'll now be held in Sapporo, which is more than 800 kilometres away, on a separate island, and generally five or six degrees cooler than Tokyo in the summer. The host city's heat is becoming a big storyline with the Games about nine months away. More than 50 people died in Tokyo this past July when temperatures hit 40 degrees.
Olympic organizers also surely took note of what happened at the track and field world championships in Qatar a few weeks ago. It's so hot there that they tried starting the marathons at midnight and it still didn't work. Of the 68 starters in the women's event, 28 dropped out — and several of them had to be helped off the course. Tokyo organizers are trying to beat the heat by starting the marathons at 6 a.m., and by moving other long-distance races and endurance sports like rugby sevens and mountain biking out of the hottest parts of the day.
Not everyone is happy with the move to Sapporo, though. Canadian race walker Evan Dunfee thrived in the heat in Qatar, where he won a bronze medal. He also says his family and friends already bought tickets and lined up accommodations in Tokyo, and now they have to change their plans. Read more about Dunfee's complaints here.
Bradley Beal committed to the Washington Wizards — sort of. The all-star guard was expected to be one of the biggest catches of what's shaping up to be a stacked NBA free agency class in the summer of 2021. Reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, reigning Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard, LeBron James and Paul George are just some of the players who could be on the market then. But Beal agreed to a two-year extension today worth $72 million US. The new deal potentially keeps him in Washington through the 2022-23 season, but Beal made sure to give himself an out in case he wants to escape earlier from one of basketball's saddest franchises. He can opt out in the summer of 2022 — at which time he'll have served 10 years in the NBA and will be eligible for a contract worth about $250 million over five years.
Now that Montreal/Washington has finally reached the World Series, there's only one current major-league franchise left that has never made it. It's the Seattle Mariners, who've been around since 1977. That makes them the fifth-youngest team in the majors, so the drought could be worse. But their expansion twins, the Toronto Blue Jays, have won two championships. So have the Florida/Miami Marlins, who were born in 1993. Arizona started in 2001 and has a title. Colorado (established in '93) and Tampa Bay ('01) have at least reached a World Series. Seattle has made it to the American League Championship Series three times, including a very disappointing loss to the Yankees in 2001. That was the year Seattle tied a 95-year-old major-league record by winning 116 games in the regular season.
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