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The Edmonton Oilers have some ground to make up in the standings. Connor McDavid has some ground to make up in the Calder Trophy race.
In his return to the Oilers on Tuesday night after a broken clavicle, McDavid managed to make up both.
McDavid scored a goal-of-the-year candidate in the second period and assisted on two other goals in the Oilers’ 5-1 rout of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The rookie split the Blue Jackets’ defense during an end-to-end rush. Justin Falk tried to take the puck away from McDavid, but whiffed. Jack Johnson appeared to be escorting him to the crease like a proper gentleman. McDavid shredded them, and then scored a nifty goal to give the Oilers a 2-1 lead.
He missed 37 games due to a broken left clavicle, an injury he sustained against the Philadelphia Flyers on Nov. 3. But he didn’t look like he missed a beat in his return to the lineup.
“No matter how many bike rides you do or bag skates you have after practice, it never really replicates what you feel in a game,” he said. “Getting your wind back and your timing down, all of that is going to come back over time.”
“You can’t really think about that, you have no idea what the year might have been, what could have happened,” he said. “It’s tough, missing that amount of time in your rookie year, but I still have a bunch of time left to do some stuff here.”
It’s scary to think about what he could accomplish in that time. And a bit of a bummer to think what he could have accomplished were he not injured.