Two-time All-Star Connor McDavid participated last night in two events of the Skills Challenge. By the end of the night, McDavid let the hockey world know that he’s the fastest skater in the NHL.
This was a great night for hockey and for the Edmonton Oilers. It seemed obvious last night that no player had a legit shot in dethroning the reigning champion Connor McDavid in the fastest skater challenge. This specific challenge was changed from last year’s festivities where two skaters were lined up to race each at a time. Having the NHL spice it up this year with one skater at a time making the loop solo wasn’t as exciting to watch.
Connor McDavid clearly was the favourite to win that race but he did have some stiff competition. Both Brayden Point of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Jack Eichel of the Buffalo Sabres each had the lead before McDavid was the last skater to hit the ice. Having the reigning champion go out last and win the competition for the second straight time was intriguing but predictable.
But the Oilers captain almost had a legit shot at winning his second skills challenge in the puck control relay. Johnny Gaudreau of the Calgary Flames kicked off the relay and maintained his 24.650 seconds mark for the duration of the relay. Connor McDavid did have a legit shot at winning this relay but messed up on the very last part of the relay—which knocked off an extra 5 seconds.
Last night was a great demonstration of how elite Connor McDavid is in the National Hockey League. He’s the first player to win the fastest skater challenge two years in a row in All-Star skills challenge history. His performance goes to show that the turmoil that has plagued the Edmonton Oilers hasn’t tainted his world-class talent one bit. He’s clearly the foundation of the Oilers franchise and if he has the right talent around him, he can turn this organization into a Stanley Cup contender.
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The only thing that Oiler fans need to be happy about from last night is that they boast the fastest player in the NHL.