The sirens feed my nightmares
We were all thinking the same thing on Thursday night, right?
The thought probably entered the mind of everyone wearing red at the United Center on Thursday night, when the Chicago Blackhawks hosted the Edmonton Oilers.
Maybe it happened here, upon first glimpse of the vision to see this passing lane open and the hands to direct the puck to the perfect place:
That's a three-game scoring streak for Zach. 😏 pic.twitter.com/IG0qcMgnbd— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) October 28, 2022
Or maybe it happened when this combination of speed and skill was put on display, which made other NHL players look like they belonged in a Tuesday afternoon rat session at the Southwest Ice Arena:
The Captain is dialled tonight, folks. pic.twitter.com/pSA7B2JJdN— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) October 28, 2022
Or maybe it happened here, when ... seriously, how the fuck did he get this puck going towards the net with any kind of velocity from that position?
We're officially on 97 hat-trick watch. 👀 pic.twitter.com/TkBWpfnc2C— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) October 28, 2022
Or maybe it happened when he counted up all on the chips tossed on the table with those earlier plays and promptly doubled the pot by tossing this on top:
A hat-trick goal with style. 😮💨 pic.twitter.com/uFhVFD3qII— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) October 28, 2022
The thought hit everyone, right?
It’d sure be nice to have one of those on the Blackhawks.
Talking about Connor McDavid of course, the Oilers forward who seems to do things on a nightly basis that render the word “arguably” irrelevant when applying the label of “best hockey player on the planet right now.” He is an insane talent, one who’s proven capable of taking a sport that’s so often so reliant on a collective effort to attain success and transforming it into a one-man show.
McDavid’s been doing this for years, of course, winning the Art Ross Trophy as the league’s leading point-producer in virtually every season that hasn’t been derailed by an injury. He is a generational talent, the No. 1 pick who’s lived up to every ounce of hype that was tossed his way before the 2015 NHL Draft and the collective failure of the people around McDavid to construct a worthwhile hockey team with McDavid as the foundation remains one of the NHL’s biggest failures of the last decade.
Watching McDavid last night can make any reasonable hockey person understand why there are so many people advocating for their teams to do everything in their power to land the player who’s trending in the direction of being that kind of talent: Connor Bedard.
Just head to Google, type start typing in “Is Connor Bedard” and a few of the auto-completes should be “the next McDavid” or “better than McDavid” or “a generational talent.” The answers to those questions seem to be, in order: probably, possibly and almost certainly. Bedard is receiving praise that was not heaped upon any of the consensus No. 1 overall picks since McDavid in 2015. There’s a mountain of evidence that suggests he’s going to be a franchise fixture for whatever team is fortunate enough to land him.
No, Bedard won’t solve every roster problem that the Blackhawks — or any NHL team — have, but it’d be one helluva start. That’s what makes it’s so damn tempting — as the sirens sing their tanking song — to give in to that slanderous, cynical philosophy and toss away an entire 82-game schedule for a chance — yes, even just a chance — at a player like that.
The good news is that the Blackhawks play the Oilers just twice more this season, which’ll make it easier to keep those thoughts at bay — even if the Blackhawks front office has already surrendered to them.