Connor McDavid clocked going over 40 km/h during dazzling end-to-end rush against the Calgary Flames
The Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid has reached hockey superstardom at a remarkably rapid rate and many NHL fans already know his explosive speed is partly what has propelled his ascension to hockey greatness. Now that impressive velocity has been verified.
During the Oilers’ season opener against the Calgary Flames on Wednesday night, McDavid took fans’ breaths away with a lightning fast end-to-end rush up the ice that saw him easily leave two defenders trailing in his wake before scoring his second goal of the game.
The game was broadcast on Sportsnet, who was measuring McDavid’s speed in kilometres per hour throughout the game. According to the sports broadcaster, McDavid’s speed peaked at 40.9 km/h just before he put the puck behind a stunned-looking Mike Smith of the Calgary Flames.
“As soon as I saw him pick up the puck and accelerate, I was like, ‘Oh, here we go,” Oilers defenceman Oscar Klefbom said after. “‘This is gonna be interesting.'”
“I always tell everyone, ‘Man, I wish I was that fast,'” Oilers forward Patrick Maroon said of his linemate’s performance after the 3-0 win against the team’s provincial rivals.
Putting McDavid’s speed in perspective is eyeopening. Cars aren’t allowed to go past 30 km/h in school zones in Alberta’s capital. Even a future LRT line in Edmonton won’t go faster than 30 km/h through the downtown. McDavid’s speed even approaches the swiftness of legendary sprinter Usain Bolt, who was once recorded as running at 44.72 km/h.
“You try to get your legs moving as fast as you can and just try to make the play,” McDavid said as the hockey world buzzed over the goal. “You’re not really thinking about how fast you’re going or anything.”
McDavid ended up scoring a third goal – an empty-netter – before the game was through, giving him the second hat trick of his still blossoming NHL career. Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot suggested he didn’t envy the task facing goalies who have to play against McDavid.
“It would be intimidating because you don’t know how much speed to take on him,” he said. “You want to take the ice in case he shoots it, but then you also have to be weary of him beating you back door. So you kind of have to find that medium ground and I don’t know if there is that medium ground when Connor’s coming at you.
“You kind of have to just play it one way or the other and hope that he doesn’t beat you.”
Maroon joked he hoped to get an even better idea of McDavid’s speed one day.
“I want to know what it feels like. One day maybe I’ll jump on his back and see if he can carry me up the ice one night.”
The Oilers visit Vancouver to play the Canucks on Saturday.
-With files from Quinn Phillips
© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.