The Saturday Slate is a weekly discussion or platform where members of Win Column Sports provide their respective opinions and thoughts on an event that took place in the prior week. Additionally, there is also a running pool amongst the contributors based on our picks for Saturday’s match-ups.
Both Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews are excellent hockey players, and that much is nearly impossible to debate. However, hot starts to the season from both players have re-awakened the debate about which is truly the best player in the National Hockey League. Both McDavid - who contributed to the Edmonton Oilers first nine goals this season - and Matthews - who set an NHL record for multi-point games to start a season - can lay a claim to the best player in the NHL; now, the Win Column Sports panel weighs in on the debate. McDavid vs. Matthews - who’s better?
If not this season, the two are clearly destined to be the poster children for the NHL over the next decade. It seems inevitable that these two will be linked forever, much like Crosby vs. Ovechkin or Batman vs. the Joker. That being said, it’s clear to me that despite Matthews gifts as a hockey player, McDavid is simply superior. He’s a back-to-back Ted Lindsay award winner, a Hart Trophy winner, and the reigning scoring champion two times over. While Matthews may be a better shooter, but that’s a category that McDavid is perennially underrated in; in fact, McDavid’s 41 goals last season topped any single season that Matthews has put forward. Yes, it’s early in both men’s careers, but I believe that fact still favours McDavid.
Recently, Zdeno Chara came out and said that he thought Connor McDavid could have scored 80 points in the NHL at the age of 16. To this point, Auston Matthews hasn’t scored 80 points in one season despite being of the requisite age to play in the league. Will he? Absolutely. McDavid has.
I for one don’t give into early regular season hype too much. An NHL season is long and gruelling, and quite frankly Auston Matthews hasn’t proven he can play an entire season yet. One thing Matthews has going for him is the depth and the players around him are absolutely filthy. With Ty Rattie being hurt, McDavid more than likely won’t know who he’s playing with on a nightly basis because the Oilers coaching staff is always changing the lines. Matthews started the season on an absolute tear, scoring multiple points in seven straight games with 10 goals and 16 points in total. McDavid matches him quite nicely with 11 points in five games, including scoring or assisting on each of the Oilers first nine goals to begin the season, breaking an NHL record.
The gap is closing, Matthews is an exceptional hockey player, but I can safely assume that at no point in his career will he ever be a better hockey player than Connor McDavid. You don’t get voted by your peers as the best hockey player in the league two times in your first three seasons without having the respect of everyone that plays against you on a night to night basis.
Democrats and Republicans go at each other just as hard as fans of both McDavid and Matthews. It’s a constant battle between which generational superstar is superior, across every social media platform known to mankind. Discussions and disagreements don’t turn people asking who’s the better team? The Oilers vs the Leafs; rather, it’s McDavid vs Matthews. You can discuss this topic until you’re blue in the face but I think the answer is clear-cut and evident.
McDavid is the superior of the two.
WinColumnSport’s Saturday Picks
|Avalanche vs. Hurricanes||Avalanche||Hurricanes||Hurricanes|
|Devils vs. Flyers||Flyers||Flyers||Devils|
|Sabres vs. Kings||Kings||Sabres||Kings|
|Coyotes vs. Jets||Jets||Jets||Jets|
|Canadiens vs. Senators||Canadiens||Canadiens||Canadiens|
|Red Wings vs. Panthers||Panthers||Panthers||Red Wins|
|Blues vs. Maple Leafs||Blues||Maple Leafs||Maple Leafs|
|Blackhawks vs. Blue Jackets||Blue Jackets||Blue Jackets||Blackhawks|
|Lightning vs. Wild||Lightning||Lightning||Lightning|
|Ducks vs. Golden Knights||Golden Knights||Golden Knights||Ducks|
|Predators vs. Oilers||Predators||Oilers||Oilers|
|Bruins vs. Canucks||Bruins||Bruins||Bruins|
|Islanders vs. Sharks||Sharks||Sharks||Sharks|
Records Thus Far:
- Spencer: (7-19), Last Week: (4-10), Winning Percentage: (27%)
- Ben: (15-11), Last Week: (9-5), Winning Percentage: (58%)
- Arik: (12-14), Last Week: (8-6), Winning Percentage: (46%)