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Edmonton Oilers superstar Connor McDavid recorded a hat trick against the Chicago Blackhawks Monday night.
The NHL is finishing its season in a bubble, so there were no fans present to complete the league-wide tradition of throwing hats on the ice to celebrate the feat.
The league hilariously improvised by having staffers throw hats onto the ice from the empty stands.
The NHL is finishing its season in a bubble, but the league is committed to creating as authentic an experience as possible even without fans present.
So when four-time All-Star Connor McDavid recorded a hat trick against the Chicago Blackhawks Monday night, the NHL improvised to celebrate on behalf of the Edmonton Oilers fanbase.
In a video that's since gotten some traction on social media, NHL staffers were seen tossing hats onto the ice at the otherwise empty rink, keeping the hat-trick tradition alive even without fans present.
—Tony X (@soIoucity) August 4, 2020
"The NHL has thought of everything," one commentator proclaimed on the broadcast.
The celebration was even more apt given that the NHL's Western Conference teams — including the Oilers — are currently competing at Rogers Place, Edmonton's home arena. But McDavid himself was not entirely impressed with the hat-throwing escapades at his second-consecutive three-point performance.
Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
"I thought it was unnecessary," McDavid said postgame, per NHL.com's Mike Zeisberger. "Just drop the puck and let's get going."
Still, McDavid's first career postseason hat trick was undoubtedly worthy of acknowledgment. His second goal of the night, which showcased the 23-year-old's impressive speed and stick skills, caught the attention of fans across the NHL.
—#StanleyCup Qualifiers on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) August 4, 2020
McDavid's three-goal effort helped the Oilers to a much-needed 6-3 victory in their second game of a do-or-die series against Chicago, which is now tied at one game apiece. Edmonton finished the regular season in fifth place in the Western Conference with 37 wins. Now, McDavid and company are looking to avoid elimination in the best-of-five series against Patrick Kane and his Blackhawks. The two sides will face off at 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday for game three.
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