The Oilers star and the Jets defenceman went head-to-head several times Monday night and exchanged knocks and sticks along the way.
“One of differences in Connor’s game this year, he’s engaging in that physicality more. He’s defended harder this year. He’s in more battles. He’s around a lot of that contact a lot more this year. He’s embraced that and took that challenge,” head coach Dave Tippett said.
“I think his game has gone to another level.”
“He gets his fair share of bumps and bruises. I feel like if you’re taking that long enough, you’re going to want to give it back a little bit,” said defenceman Darnell Nurse of McDavid. “It’s good to see him mix it up a little bit.”
McDavid will be going for his 500th career point Wednesday night.
Read more: Edmonton Oilers lose wild one to Winnipeg
Earlier Wednesday, the Oilers had an optional morning skate as they look to bounce back from Monday’s 6-5 loss.
“We did enough things well to win that game, but ultimately we didn’t win,” said Tippett. “Some of the chances we gave up were real good chances against. Those are the ones we have to take out of the game.”
Mike Smith will start in goal. He was pulled on Monday after allowing four goals on eleven shots.
The Oilers and Jets are on 630 CHED with the Faceoff Show at 6 p.m. The game starts at 8 p.m.