Ahead of Greztky and Lemieux | The Journal of Quebec

You read the title correctly. Right now, Connor McDavid is doing things that even Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux couldn’t.

It has seemed established for years that these two legends are the best in history and we take it for granted that they will never be dislodged. Still, the way he’s doing right now, McDavid is a cut above.

I know, when he retires, the Edmonton Oilers captain won’t have Gretzky’s numbers. Hockey has changed and, aside from its scoring record which may be broken by Alex Ovechkin, you won’t see anyone come close to the rest.

But it goes beyond the numbers.

Yes, McDavid has bad games. Yes, he has defensive deficiencies and causes turnovers. On the other hand, we can never blame him for not having the pedal constantly in the carpet. In possession of the puck, one often has the impression of seeing one adult against five children at the neighborhood outdoor rink!

I’m not the only one who thinks McDavid stands apart from Greztky and Lemieux. I was chatting recently with Serge Savard, and he too was overwhelmed by what he saw of the player from number 97.

THE STAR AND THE GUITAR

Serge knows something about it, he has faced some very talented players in his career.

The people of Edmonton are blessed and I wish them the Oilers and McDavid have a long way in the playoffs. Certainly, if we voted today for the winner of the Conn-Smythe trophy, my vote would be unequivocally in favor of McDavid.

Some are also talking about Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy. I admit that he was excellent against the Panthers of the
Florida, but he didn’t have the impact of the Oilers center.

When my good friend René Angélil was still with us and I went to see Céline Dion perform, I often said the same thing to her: “Céline is the best. You are going to see her. The guitarist, you don’t care! »

With all due respect to Vasilevskiy, he’s the guitar player, and McDavid is Celine. He is at the top and it is for him that people travel.

SURROUNDED BY GOOD PEOPLE

Nothing is decided yet for the Oilers, however.

Goaltender Mike Smith remains a question mark, but at least we feel that McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are better surrounded than in recent years. The acquisitions of Zach Hyman and Evander Kane bring a depth the team hasn’t had in the past.

In Kane’s case, it turns out to be a real bargain at just over $2 million. The winger is a colossus who must be not nearly intimidating when he comes around the corner at 100 miles an hour.

In addition, he produces offensively, he who has 12 goals in 12 playoff games in 2022.

ASTERISK

Although I’m very happy to see McDavid and the Oilers continue their journey, I must admit that I have mixed feelings about the end of the game against the Flames on Thursday night.

In my eyes, forward Blake Coleman’s goal should have been allowed late in the third period. That net would have made Calgary 5-4 and we might have a very different result today.

The NHL will have to rule on this kind of situation. These goals, in my opinion, must be awarded.

Interview by Kevin Dubé

Echoes of Bergie

Lafrenière plays better

Alexis Lafrenière seems more and more comfortable with the New York Rangers. I like what I see from him for a few games. Moreover, many claim that the Canadian offers his first choice in total to the “Blueshirts” in return for Lafrenière. In my opinion, we dream in colors. The Rangers will ask for more than the first selection for the Quebec winger. They have already invested time and money in his development and they would not be interested in exchanging him in return for another young person whose future you do not know. New York knows what’s on its hands with Lafrenière and I’m sure the Rangers are excited for what he can accomplish in the future. Now it’s up to the Habs to make the right choice in the draft. We hear more and more that Shane Wright is not unanimous, and the CH has no right to be wrong.

A contract soon

It seems that the Canadian and Martin St-Louis are close to a new agreement. So much the better. After all, we expected it. However, I wonder what could have hooked that it took so long to finalize the contract. Were there any disputes over salary or length of contract? Did St-Louis want to take his time and discuss it with his family? We’ll know all that shortly, but in the end, it doesn’t change much. The important thing for the Canadian, for his players as well as for the supporters, is that St-Louis is behind the team’s bench for the first game of the regular season, in October.

Hey pierre !

I learned like everyone else of the death of the host Pierre Rinfret, yesterday, after a long fight against cancer. I therefore take advantage of this forum to offer my most sincere sympathy to his daughter, Camille, as well as to all his family. I had the opportunity to work with Pierre on radio and television and I even went to see him last week. We expected it, but this news is always difficult to learn. Another death that affects the large extended family of sport in Quebec…

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