Speed Kills

I remember Barry Melrose, who is one tough dude, both as a player and as a coach (as I knew him, when he coached the AHL’s Adirondack Red Wings), saying that the only thing in hockey that ever intimidated him was speed.

Jonathan Audy-Marchessault

And Carl Hagelin and Jonathan Audy-Marchessault aren’t exactly a pair of intimidating guys to look at–Hagelin is skinny as a rail and looks like he might have stepped out of the Swedish version of Hanson, and from the press box you’d swear that Audy-Marchessault’s head barely reaches the crossbar–but I’m sure there aren’t many defenders out there who would really relish facing either one of them.  That’s because of, especially in the case of Hagelin, that great intimidator, foot speed.

Hagelin showed off his other gear again at the NHL Skills Competition Saturday, posting the fastest time in the Fastest Skater event, a lap of 13.218 seconds.

When Hagelin was named to go to All-Star Weekend, I figured he’d get the nod to participate in the Fastest Skater showdown, but I didn’t necessarily think he’d win it.  He might be challenging Ryan Callahan for the quickest, most meteoric rise ever by a Whale/Wolf Pack-groomed prospect.

Audy-Marchessault has different physique than the lithe Hagelin, more of a fireplug-type build, so maybe he doesn’t look as fast, but clearly the rest of the league thinks he is.  The Whale’s co-leading goal-scorer was tabbed to skate for the Eastern Conference in last night’s AHL Skills Competition Fastest Skater event, and though he didn’t make the statement that Hagelin did, he certainly acquitted himself well.  Audy-Marchessault logged the third-fastest time in the event, with a 13.932.


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