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02-27-2010, 08:06 PM
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Jarick's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: St Paul, MN
Country: United States
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Okay, here's my theory:

Pure wrist shots are only a push-pull motion of the forearms. This is a really good example of the mechanism:

The physics is that the stick acts as a lever. As the top hands move a little bit, the bottom of the stick moves a lot. Combined with the forward momentum of skating, this is how you get power. Ilya Kovalchuk, Marian Hossa, Sidney Crosby are all really good at this type of shot. A lot of times when guys use short, stiff sticks, this is their shot.

Snap shots involve a lot of loading of the stick. Rather than using mostly a push-pull with the stick as a lever, the shooter transfers weight through the bottom hand to load the stick while pulling back hard on the top hand, creating even more flex, then releasing towards the target. Think Ovechkin, Brett Hull, Joe Sakic. A lot of time you'll see the bottom hand dropped down and the player leaning their shoulders more vertical with the bottom shoulder dropped.

The slap shot combines the weight transfer and stick loading of the snap shot with a rotational spring like energy. When you wind up, you coil your torso one way, then come down and rotate the torso in addition to transferring the weight, loading the stick, snapping the wrists, push-pull, etc. You're getting as many types of energy transfer as possible, and when done correctly you can achieve those huge top speeds. The Nick Lidstrom slapshot site tells you all you need to know.

All the shots also have a snapping of the wrists that puts spin on the puck at the release. This keeps the puck flying flat, which allows it to cut through the air and increase velocity and accuracy. If you wanted to demonstrate this, toss a frisbee without snapping your wrist and then with snapping your wrists.

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