EDMONTON – Connor McDavid doesn't know the ice hockey world as well as you can imagine after five seasons in which everything is transferred from wall to wall. If you haven't noticed, the Oilers McSaviour isn't exactly an open book.
Like this nugget when we asked him on Monday about the laugh for which he, Leon Draisaitl and Darnell Nurse are gathering before each game while warming up. Could he tell us about his routine, just a little bit?
"Nothing … nothing that really needs to be shared," he said. "It's really nothing."
However, what we have learned over the years is McDavid's aversion to special treatment. He wants to be one of the guys so much, and McDavid will do his best to avoid being perceived as standing above a team mate in any way.
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So we'd bet he'd play Chicago on Tuesday, even though no one near the Oilers – including McDavid – would commit to it after injuring his knee in Saturday's 3-2 win over Nashville.
"There's the old saying," Oilers coach Dave Tippett said when he wondered whether McDavid would miss his first game of the season. "You can play injured, but you cannot play injured. Many boys play with bumps and bruises. If you are injured and there is a risk of worse injuries, do not play.
"But if it's a bruise? Every guy, every time you play a game, you have a bruise somewhere."
It was no shame for Tippett to get his best player to stand up to the Blackhawks. Nobody has to shame McDavid – he has proven to be a player and has only missed four games in the last four seasons (including this one). He plays sick, he plays crazy and he has a tough game even in meaningless games if you look at the table.
One thing we at McDavid think is this: Because he has been treated as "that special" by every hockey parent and coach since he was five, what he tries hardest to be is easy one of the guys. And hockey players play with bruises.
“A kind of Charley horse. A bit more part of the quad, on top of the knee, ”said McDavid when asked to pinpoint the injury.
After rehabilitating his left knee all summer, did he ever think that he might have blown the same knee on Saturday?
"No, it never really occurred to me," he said. "It is a completely different part. Nothing that was hurt before hurts now.
"It's the same knee, but it has nothing to do with what happened last year."
People from across the hockey spectrum watched the documentary, which led us through a rehabilitation summer for McDavid, so that injuries to the left knee in the four corners of the hockey world do not go unnoticed. But in Canada – and more specifically in Northern Alberta – it was the subject of Sunday and Monday traffic. Especially when McDavid climbed on the practice ice on Monday morning, but went into the cabin after completing work on the power game.
It turned out that this was the plan: take a short ice skate, relax, and then make your way to an ice pack.
When he injured his left knee on Saturday, there was concern in the building.
"During the game, everyone has to be dialed in on themselves," said Oilers striker Zack Kassian. "But I am sure that everyone will go to him after the game and ask him if he is well.
"You see him going on the boards, it was a strange game. Everyone probably looks and thinks, 'Oh, oh. & # 39; But he slipped it and that was it. & # 39;
The Oilers players accept the dizziness caused by a possible McDavid injury. "This happens when you have this caliber," said Kassian.
You also know that if McDavid does not play on Tuesday, he is not looking for a day off or is taking a break that would not be granted to a third or fourth division team.
"Ultimately, players know whether he can play or not," said Tippett. "He'll come in tomorrow morning, skate again, we'll see if he wants to play. If he's good, we'll play him.
"He has a bruise over his knee."
That was & # 39; s. No PCL crack. No flight south to see specialists. No more documentation, part II.
"We'll see where he is in the morning," said Tippett. "I'm not saying he's in or out."