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New York Islanders Mathew Barzal Faces Connor McDavid in Fastest Skater

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 07: Connor McDavid #97 of the Edmonton Oilers and Mathew Barzal #13 of the New York Islanders battle for the puck during the first period at the Barclays Center on November 7, 2017 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 07: Connor McDavid #97 of the Edmonton Oilers and Mathew Barzal #13 of the New York Islanders battle for the puck during the first period at the Barclays Center on November 7, 2017 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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Speed kills in the NHL. And at the 2019 NHL All-Star Game, New York Islanders forward Mathew Barzal will take on the league’s fastest skater Connor McDavid.

Mathew Barzal is the New York Islanders answer to the modern NHL. Barzal has top-level skills and top-level speed. That puts Mathew Barzal in a small category of players who poses both qualities. One of the others is Edmonton Oilers Connor McDavid.

They’ll go head to head at the 2019 NHL All-Star Skills Competition for the league’s fastest skater competition.

For the last two seasons, Connor McDavid has wowed All-Star crowds as he’s won the All-Stars fastest skater competition. But he hasn’t faced off against Islanders speedster Mathew Barzal.

Speed Versus Speed

The NHL’s fastest skater is a test of who can go around the full perimeter of the rink the quickest. Connor McDavid holds the quickest time at 13.172 seconds. He set that time just two seasons ago.

We know McDavid is fast. We’ve seen it for years in the NHL during the regular season. He routinely has defensemen skating the wrong way with his innate ability to enter the zone with a full head of steam.

But New York Islanders Mathew Barzal has the same skill set. He may not have the same highlight reel collection of speed played that McDavid holds, but he isn’t far off.

The kid who won the Calder and how was taken 15 spots after McDavid with Edmonton’s own pick has shown that his speed needs to be feared.

Here he is showing off that speed in overtime against the New Jersey Devils, here he is doing the same thing to the Chicago Blackhawks, and for good measure here’s a number of times Barzal carries the puck out of the D-zone and into the O-zone with the incredible quickness.

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Tonight at 9 PM eastern Barzal will test his speed against the league’s reigning fastest skater Connor McDavid. It’s going to be tight, but Barzal will give Connor McDavid a run for his money.

You can watch the NHL Skills Competition live on TV through any of the following providers: NBCSN, SN, CBC, TVAS

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