Connor McDavid is a jewel.
Like superstar hockey players before him there is a motivation to his game that is on a higher level compared to those around him. He can elevate others, sometimes a whole team, and he is barely 19 years old. The whisper-worth of games he has played in the National Hockey League isn’t enough to call him “one of the greats”, but he definitely has the makings of a truly special player. One that perhaps we have not seen in a while.
But while we await his coronation into greatness I can’t help but watch this man-child play, and think fondly of one of my all-time favorite hockey players — Pavel Bure.
Called the “Russian Rocket” for his swift feet and quick turns, Bure burned brightly throughout the 90’s before the lower half of his body quit on him. The things I loved about Pavel were speed, craftiness, and decisiveness. Forget chewing bubble gum and walking at the same time, Bure could handle a puck, see the open ice, slice through defenders, and embarrass goaltenders in less time than it takes me to unwrap a piece of Hubba Bubba. Those early 90’s season with Vancouver were easily some of my favorite hockey moments as a youngster. For that, I have Bure to thank.
Like Pavel, Connor has a knack for creating something from nothing. A true hockey coaches dream come true is that breed of player that can raise the standard by which his teammates play simply by just being the best player on the ice. Both players like to cheat to the edge of the opposition blue line as if they know the next three passes that will be made before they are actually made. The hands are stealthy. The way they seemingly glue themselves to the puck while flying up the ice is simply a spectacle.
To demonstrate, or perhaps jog your memory, here are two GIF’s for your viewing enjoyment. The first of Pavel. The second of Connor.
Making the comparison works here (obviously) because both guys destroy defenders at will, then finish off a worthy goaltender.
I really really like Connor McDavid, and chances are you do too. So, tell me. Who does Connor McDavid remind YOU of?