Barzal’s time was just barely enough to dethrone Edmonton’s Connor McDavid, the three time defending champion of the event. He also knocked off the Rangers Chris Kreider, who had been the leader for the entire competition.
That is, until this:
Barzal's winning lap. pic.twitter.com/6gQRrEzxHT— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) January 25, 2020
Barzal had to then sweat out McDavid’s run, but the Oilers star had a tiny stumble during a straightaway and came in at 13.215, just a hair too late.
Barzal is also in the running for brightest smile following the win:
He also got to be interviewed by Sabres captain Jack Eichel, who is somehow better at this than actual NHL interviewer Pierre McGuire is.
Our rinkside reporter, @Jackeichel15, is on the scene with the Fastest Skater, Mat Barzal (@Barzal_97). #NHLAllStar— NHL (@NHL) January 25, 2020
: https://t.co/BPA9H9xoCb @NHLonNBCSports
: https://t.co/6MkI69aK8P @Sportsnet pic.twitter.com/Je9w3DhnXX
Barzal is the first Islander to be named the NHL’s Fastest Skater since Michael Grabner in 2011. Then a rookie, Grabner took part in the Skills Competition that year but not the actual All Star Game because the NHL is always changing stuff all the time.
According this unassailable and accurate Wikipedia page, Barzal’s time was one of the best ever, just a few tenths of the second shorter than Jonathan Drouin’s 13.103 and a few hundredths of a second shy of Dylan Larkin’s 13.172.
Congrats to Mat on an amazing run and best of luck in Saturday’s All Star Game 3-on-3 tournament. He had five points in last year’s two-game Metropolitan Division win so we’ll see what he does for an encore.
But remember: DON’T GET HURT.
tl;dr Barzal fastest.