Connor McDavid hits 100 points, Predators in the playoffs, John Tortorella’s last game, and more NHL action

nhl art ross
May 8, 2021; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point of the season on a goal by forward Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Connor McDavid hit 100 points last night as it was always a matter of when, not if. Coming into game 53 of the season, he needed four points in his last four games to hit the mark. Why waste anymore time he must’ve thought.

Connor McDavid hits 100 points with four point night

Just 45 seconds into the contest McDavid opened the scoring with his 32nd of the season. Before it was all over, he would add three assists and help defeat the Canucks by a 4-3 score. The victory also clinches second place in the North Division.

“It’s special to be part of a group like that,” McDavid said. “Obviously those are the game’s best players of all-time, so it’s special to be mentioned in the same breath as those guys. As for my game, I’ve just been focusing on trying to be prepared each and every night, and I think obviously team success comes first and our team’s been able to play some good hockey most of the season with the exception of probably the first month there. So, when the team is playing well, that’s when individuals are having success and you’re seeing lots of guys on our team have some really good seasons.”

NHL.com

North Division Recap: Maple Leafs clinch first place in the division with a 3-2 win over the Canadiens. Montreal has lost three straight and need just a combination of one point to clinch. And Tim Stutzle scored his first NHL hat trick in a 4-2 Senators win over the Jets.

John Tortorella’s last game with Blue Jackets; Predators make the playoffs

john tortorella last game
Mar 18, 2021; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella walks off the ice after the game against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

The Blue Jackets closed out this difficult season with a 5-4 OT win thanks to Max Domi. However, the story of the game was John Tortorella who has coached his last game with Columbus. Chants broke out late of “Tor-Tor-ella!” at Nationwide Arena, with the crowd knowing the rumors had him moving on. After the game, reports began to surface that he is indeed not coming back, but he’s not retiring either. Torts will be behind another bench next season. In the end, it was career win 673 for him as he moves past Mike Keenan for 12th all-time.

“I’ll put it to you this way: I think the discussion that [Columbus general manager Jarmo Kekalainen] and I are having … people talk about a shelf life. I don’t think there’s a shelf life for a coach. But what I believe in is whether it’s the right fit between the coach and the players. I think that’s the most important thing,” Tortorella said. “And that’s something Jarmo and I have discussed very honestly. I get it. Am I the right fit? These are the things we’ve talked about.”

ESPN

Predators make playoffs

predators clinch playoff spot
May 8, 2021; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Nashville Predators players celebrate after a win to clinch a spot in the playoffs against the Carolina Hurricanes at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Nashville Predators are in the playoffs. What an amazing turn of events for a team that was talking about blowing it up at one point this season. Nashville beat the Hurricanes 3-1 to secure the fourth seed in the Central Division and will play them in the opening round.

“I think it’s a lot different than every year we’ve made the playoffs since I’ve been here,” Nashville captain Roman Josi said. “First of all, it’s a different season, obviously, but I think just the way we got in and the start we had. Nobody was happy with the way we played. I’m just really proud of the guys. We definitely earned it the hard way. We worked extremely hard to clinch a playoff spot. Just looking back at the last 20 games, it felt like every game was so important and we were in a playoff race every game. Everyone in our locker room played really well.”

NHL.com

The Panthers also beat the Lightning last night 5-1 as they try and clinch home ice advantage for their opening round series against them.

Recapping the remains NHL action

The Pittsburgh Penguins have clinched first place in the East with a 1-0 win over the Sabres. The Capitals won 2-1 in OT over the Flyers to hold firm onto second place. The Islanders walloped the Devils 5-1 to close the gap for third place as the Bruins fell to the Rangers 5-4.

Out West the Golden Knights tie the Hurricanes for top team in the NHL with a 4-1 win over the Blues. The Avalanche edged the Kings 3-2 and hold firm to second place. The Wild beat the Ducks 3-2 in OT as Ryan Miller played his last NHL game. Finally, the Coyotes knocked off the Sharks in OT 5-4 with Phil Kessell getting his 900th point.