Last night, Connor McDavid went superhuman in the season opener against the Calgary Flames and I want to talk about it. Specifically that second goal.
I don’t think I need to tell you this but I’m going to anyway — Connor McDavid is really good at hockey. Not only is he amazing, the guy is lightning on ice and the Calgary Flames saw that first hand on his second goal of the night. How fast was he going? Sportsnet had him clocked at up to 40km/hr. That is ridiculous. I don’t think I would even be able to keep up with that on a bike. The guy is so fast he would have gotten a speeding ticket in rural areas and the fact that he can make plays and finish while going that fast is almost incomprehensible.
How is a defenceman supposed to defend against that? The answer: they can’t. Let’s take another look at the goal.
Let’s take another look at the goal.
There are a few parts of this thing that I want to touch on because it really is amazing. First, let’s look at when Connor picks up the puck in his own zone. After swinging down low to grab the loose puck in the corner, McDavid was off to the races, which also happens to be the moment where the Flames would have been just as effective had they laid down and cried.
Right after McDavid picks up the puck in his own zone, Michael Ferland is basically with him neck and neck. He’s in a decent position to make a play but, as it turns out, no spot is a good spot against Connor. In a matter of a couple strides, McDavid vanished like Keyser Soze. Frankly, from where I blog, there wasn’t even really much point in Ferland backchecking because he had about as much of a chance at catching Connor as I do of scoring with Miranda Kerr. It wasn’t going to happen and he actually looks silly for trying.
By the time McDavid gets to centre ice, Ferland is chasing his shadow and TJ Brodie is likely shitting his pants. Most impressively, Brodie was already skating forwards towards his own zone and Connor still torched him. This wasn’t like he had to pivot and chase, this was a foot race that he had no chance of winning. I can’t help but wonder what Brodie is thinking at this point? If I was to wager a guess it was probably something like “oh shit, oh shit, oh shit, oh shit, oh shit.”
When I was a kid, I had a No Fear shirt that said “If you can read this you’re losing” on the back of it and that horrible joke was all I could think about at this point. In this scenario, Brodie = Loser and I think even he would admit that. As for his d-partner, Hamonic, I didn’t realize how slow he is but he wasn’t even in the ballpark of being able to catch Connor. I mean, he was on the ice but not at all a factor. If anything, I’m jealous of Hamonic’s vantage point as he had one of the best views in the house for this beautiful goal. Have I mentioned how fast Connor is? Seems worth repeating at this point.
This is my favourite part of the video. Look at Brodie swinging his stick in a last ditch effort to try and make something happen defensively. The only thing that was missing from this one-handed prayer was to have him actually throw his stick at the puck and call Connor’s mom because he wasn’t playing fair. Honestly, this whole sequence looked like when a Pee Wee player brings out their older brother onto the ice for practice and he spends that hour making the kids look stupid. Making pros looks dumb is what Connor McDavid is doing at the NHL level and he’s doing it with a frequency that I’ve never seen before.
I love how Mike Smith does his best owl impression as he tries to track the puck when it’s already behind him. A little bit more and he could have twisted his head clean off his neck. Even though Smith played relatively well, he had no answer for McDavid and having the puck end up in the back of the net after this play seemed like the only possible outcome. Beautiful isn’t it?
For the “league’s best defence” there wasn’t really much push back on this one. I guess they’ll have to look for another upgrade. But as my friend, Chris the Intern, said last night, “this is Connor’s world, we’re just living in it.”
THE SEASON LAUNCH PARTY
We’re trying to raise as much money as possible for the victims of last Saturday’s attack in Edmonton and we could use your help. Tickets to the Season Launch Party are on sale now for $30 and will remain on sale straight through until the date of the party, or until they sell out — whichever happens first. Your ticket will also enter you into all of the draws for NationGear prizes and the jersey giveaways that will happen throughout the night.
- Where: The Pint Downtown
- When: Saturday, October 7th starting at 6pm
- Why: Because we’ve got a hankerin’ for some partyin’
- How Much: Tickets are $30 with net proceeds going to the victims of last week’s attack in Downtown Edmonton
- How: Tickets are available here
- Can’t make it but want to help? Grab a ticket online and we’ll ship the swag bag to you!
For each ticket you buy, you’ll get one of the exclusive season opener t-shirts (shown above), a $10 Denizen Hall GC, a card for FREE perogies and tacos for a year at the Pint, $10 Oodle Noodle GC, a Nation sticker package, and, most importantly, a chance to kick off the season with your Nation brothers and sisters.