Oilers' McDavid has taken Tortorella’s “shut up” advice

Nov 19 2021, 12:15 am

Turns out Connor McDavid might have scooped up a piece of advice from Torts after all.

McDavid was asked if he felt he deserved to draw more calls near the tail end of his media availability Thursday.

He didn’t exactly bite on the question.

“I guess I’ve just got to shut up about this,” McDavid said.

The response was eerily similar, perhaps intentionally, to a suggestion John Tortorella offered up last week.

“He complained about it a little bit, he wasn’t getting the calls. Quite honestly, and I hope I say it correctly… just shut up. Don’t talk about it,” said Tortorella, a two-time Jack Adams Award winner turned analyst, on ESPN’s intermission show The Point last week.

“I do think he has to change his game a bit. Not turn into a checker, obviously. He’s talked about culture, he’s talked about standards, he’s talked about winning… You’re not just going to fill the net during playoffs and outscore teams. You have to play on the other side of the puck. You have to have that business-type attitude that ‘nothing’s going to bother me no matter how you’re going to check me.’”

Sounds like McDavid got the message.

No word on if he’ll heed the other half of Tortorella’s advice.

“Don’t talk about it. Just play hard, play through it,” Tortorella said. “But the other side of the puck is that important too, come playoff time. I think he’s learning. [Edmonton Oilers coach Dave Tippett’s] going to have to get that whole group, if they’re talking about a Stanley Cup, they’re all going to have to play a little bit a different way and not just try to outscore teams.”

McDavid, whose 29-point season is second in NHL scoring only to teammate Leon Draisaitl, has a point in each of Edmonton’s first 15 games. He holds the fourth-longest Oilers point streak to start a season behind three efforts from Wayne Gretzky (51 games, 83-94; 30 games, 82-83; 16 games, 84-85).

He became the sixth-fastest in NHL history to reach 600 points earlier in the season, too.

Aaron VickersAaron Vickers

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