This past Wednesday, the Hockey Jesus himself hit 100 points in just 92 games with an assist against the Florida Panthers. That pace put him fourth among active players, behind Alex Ovechkin (77 games), Sidney Crosby (80) and Evgeni Malkin (89).
After recording another assist in that game, he went on to beat the Panthers in overtime with just 2.6 seconds left, giving him 102 points in just 92 games. The OT winner was also a can’t-miss goal-of-the-year candidate (and it could have been save-of-the-year material is Reimer had just held his ground).
Adjusting for the 2005-2006 Season
Both Crosby and Ovechkin reached 100 in their rookie season (2005-2006). That year the NHL average spiked up to 6.16 goals per game. After getting 85 points in 78 games as a rookie in 2006-2007 (5.90 goals per game), Evgeni Malkin reached 102 points 11 games (he had 3 points in that game) into the 2007-2008 season (5.56 goals per game).
McDavid notched 48 points in his first 45 games in 2015-2016 (5.42 goals per game on average), reaching 102 points 47 games into the current NHL season, where the average is currently set at 5.52 goals per game.
For the record: Crosby hit a clean 100 points in 80 games with three assists against the New York Islanders on April 17, 2006. Ovechkin did the same after 77 games with an OT winner against the Boston Bruins on April 10, 2006.
(Numbers courtesy of Hockey-Reference.com).
If we use Crosby and Ovechkin’s rookie season as the benchmark, then scoring was at 95.77% in 06-07 and 90.26% in 07-08. Those are the seasons Malkin took to hit one hundred.
If we look at McDavid’s seasons, the drop in scoring is even more prominent (87.99% in 15-16 and 89.61% in 16-17).
So adjusting Malkin and McDavid’s first season (and a bit) to Crosby and Ovechkin’s rookie year:
Malkin 1 1.09 pts/g x 1.0423 = 1.14 pts/g adj
Malkin 2 1.55 pts/g x 1.0974 = 1.70 pts/g adj
McDavid 1 1.07 pts/g x 1.1201 = 1.20 pts/g adj
McDavid 2 1.15 pts/g x 1.1039 = 1.27 pts/g adj
Which, translated to the number of games it would take over those respective seasons to hit one hundred, would look like:
Malkin 1 89 points in 78 games
Malkin 2 11 points in 7 games
…for 100 points in 86 games.
McDavid 1 54 points in 45 games
McDavid 2 46 points in 36 games
…for 100 points in 81 games.
While Malkin gets a bit of a boost adjusting to the offensive firestorm that was the 2005-2006 season, McDavid gets a huge push due to the decreased scoring in recent years, more specifically the past two seasons.
The final post-adjustment rankings end up looking like: Ovechkin (77 games), Crosby (80 games), McDavid (81 games) and Malkin (85 games). The exercise gives us a better look at just how spectacular McDavid has been in his first two seasons, playing in an NHL where goals are just that much harder to come by than they were only a decade ago.