This week's Big Question: Why is Connor McDavid so good?
Auston Matthews, C, Toronto Maple Leafs: "I think just his change of speed, he can go 0 to 100 pretty quick. That's a pretty big key. He does everything at such a high speed. He's obviously a complete player, does everything right. But when you can skate like that, change speeds so well, handle the puck and see the ice, makes for a pretty dangerous player."
"[H]e can definitely embarrass you. So it's back to basics, right? Watch the body. It's things you forget when you're playing, but when a guy like that comes around, before the game you remind yourself, 'OK, he's coming down on you, watch the chest. Just keep it simple.' You try to have good gaps on him. If he winds it up and you're standing flat-footed, it's tough. I think gaps and also having good sticks on him too."
John Tavares, C, New York Islanders: "Yeah, it's been impressive. He obviously hasn't played a full season yet, so he still has a lot of growing to do, but it's impressive what he's doing. Leading the league in scoring is pretty incredible for a guy his age. Great players, the guys that are going to be the best players in the league, they just always seem to adapt real well really quickly to whatever situation, and he's done that extremely well. He's extremely talented to be able to skate and play at that pace that he does night in and night out, and to make plays and think that fast, it's pretty special. He's going to be a great player for a long time."
Ryan Getzlaf, C, Anaheim Ducks: "He's one of the best skaters I've ever seen. He's able to do things at a high rate of speed too, so he doesn't have to slow down in order to pass or shoot. It's pretty impressive."
Joe Thornton, C, San Jose Sharks: "One thing I think it's his speed. His speed is probably his best asset. But you can be just a speedy guy, but you still have to have the offensive instincts, the shot, the drive, the competitiveness. [An almost] 20-year-old kid playing at this high level, it's pretty remarkable, and I don't think you've seen too many kids come in and take the league by storm. But it's nice to see a young guy like that come in and dominate right away."
Eric Staal, C, Minnesota Wild: "It's his pace, his speed. He's obviously got the intelligence, and I'm sure everyone is saying the same, but it's that other gear he's got. His pace and level to do things with the puck, with the speed he has, that's what sets him apart."
Cam Fowler, D, Anaheim Ducks: "I don't think there's a specific way to shut him down. I think we've played him twice this year, and I don't think he has any points against us, but he's still extremely involved. He makes a difference every time he touches the ice, so if you can keep him off the score sheet, great. But man, he still gets his chances. He's pretty lethal."
Brendan Gallagher, RW, Montreal Canadiens: "I had a chance to play with him at the worlds last year. It's crazy, because he's fast, and then he gets the puck and he gets faster. He's the only player I've ever seen that when he gets the puck, he's actually able to accelerate. So much speed. He just puts guys in such difficult positions. I actually watch a lot of their games; it's just pretty impressive to watch."
John Gibson, G, Anaheim Ducks: "I think I learned more about him playing with him [in the World Cup] than against him. When you're on the same team, you can kind of just watch him. He's pretty unbelievable. He can do anything. If you need a big play, you know he has the capability to do it just like that."
Jakob Chychrun, D, Arizona Coyotes: "He's the next dominant player in this league. Every single time he has the puck, he's a threat to make a play. He does things at such a high speed, it's almost unbelievable how fast he can process the game and process the plays that are happening around him. I don't think there's anyone offensively more of a threat than him. He's special, for sure."
Ben Bishop, G, Tampa Bay Lightning: "We didn't play against him last year because he was hurt. We're going to play him, so it'll be our first time we've played against him. You can see the speed. I just think what's crazy is he rarely scores on shots from the outside. Every goal seems like it's from the blue paint, dekes. He doesn't look like he scores many from far out, so he's not afraid to go to that dirty area, and obviously his speed takes him there. We haven't played against him. It'll be a fun test to try and play against him."
Eastern Conference veteran coach: "Pure speed and talent. He does everything at a high rate of speed. He's the fastest in the league, there's no question in my mind. I think he's faster with the puck than without."
--Pierre LeBrun, Joe McDonald, Craig Custance, Scott Burnside