After winning the NHL All-Star Weekend’s fastest skater contests the past three years, Edmonton Oilers’ captain Connor McDavid was topped by New York Islanders forward Mathew Barzal despite an impressive showing on Friday night.
Barzal posted a time of 13.175 seconds compared to McDavid’s 13.215 seconds. But the Oilers’ superstar, who sustained a serious knee injury late last season, still posted a faster time than he did in the three contests he won.
McDavid was quick to compliment Barzal’s speed that put an end to his winning streak.
“He flies,” McDavid said. “He skates like the wind and he’s got real good hands.
Many NHL fans and even players have expressed interest in seeing how McDavid and Oilers teammate Leon Draisaitl interact with Calgary Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk at the NHL’s all-star festivities in St.Louis.
In a game between the Oilers and Flames on Jan. 11, Tkachuk delivered two big bodychecks on Oilers forward Zack Kassian that knocked his helmet off both times. Kassian followed up by punching Tkachuk several times, an attack that led to a two-game suspension and a war of words between him and Tkachuk.
McDavid indicated the tension between the two players and teams is not something he expects to come up on the NHL’s All-Star Weekend.
The Flames and Oilers play in Edmonton on Wednesday, a game that will also mark Kassian’s suspension being lifted.
–With files from The Canadian Press’ Joshua Clipperton
Watch below: Some recent video about the Edmonton Oilers.