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Skating Speed, Shot Velocity, Reaction Time, and Lloyd Percival

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01-27-2011, 11:45 AM
  #1
nik jr
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Skating Speed, Shot Velocity, Reaction Time, and Lloyd Percival

Zine posted this in a thread a few weeks ago, but i think it should be a separate thread.

February 1968 issue of Popular Mechanics has an article about science and hockey. Lloyd Percival is mentioned as a "pioneer in the scientific study of hockey."

some numbers are surely inflated by poor measurement, but the differences between players is useful.



How Fast Are Hockey Players? Here's How They Compare.
(Figures as of last season, 1966-67)

Individual Skating Speeds
(in miles per hour)
PlayerWithout PuckRankWith PuckRank
Bobby Hull29.7128.31
Henri Richard28.6225.35*
Gordie Howe28.43*27.63*
Dave Keon28.43*25.25
Frank Mahovlich28.3427.82
Doug Mohns28.1527.63*
Tim Horton28.06*27.63*
Bob Pulford28.06*27.63*
Dick Duff27.9727.54
Eric Nesterenko27.8825.35*
* indicates tie


Individual Shooting Speeds
(In miles per hour)
PlayerSlap ShotRankWrist ShotRank
Bobby Hull118.31104.63
Tim Horton112.42--
Frank Mahovlich111.33102.34
Gordie Howe109.34114.21
Eddie Shack109.1594.66
Dennis Hull106.46--
Andy Bathgate104.2789.37
Jean Beliveau102.48105.92
Alex Delvecchio102.3999.45


Team Skating Speeds
(average for all players in miles per hour)
TeamSpeed
Montreal Canadiens22.3
Toronto Maple Leafs21.2
Detroit Red Wings21.1
Chicago Black Hawks20.8
Boston Bruins19.6
New York Rangers19.4

Team Shooting Speeds
(average for all players in miles per hour)
TeamSpeed
Montreal Canadiens82.6
Detroit Red Wings80.1
Chicago Black Hawks79.8
Toronto Maple Leafs78.8
New York Rangers76.3
Boston Bruins75.4


Reaction Time for Four NHL Goalies
(in 1/100ths of a second)
PlayerHandLegStickTotal Body
Roger Crozier.21.47.29.59
Terry Sawchuk.19.51.27.63
Glenn Hall.18.53.26.56
Johnny Bower.20.46.27.56


Miscellaneous Records

-- Average number of passes in a game: 451 (with 261 completed)
-- Distance an average player skates in a game: 2.3 miles
-- Maximum distance recorded for a player skating in one game: 9.7 miles by Gordie Howe
-- Most accurate passer: Gordie Howe, with 88% of his passes on target.



Lloyd Percival apparently thought that players of a similar body type (endomorph, mesomorph, ectomorph) would naturally tend to behave in a similar ways, so a defender should be ideally of a similar body type as the forward he is marking, and linemates of a similar body type would generally be more effective than linemates of mismatched types.


page 110 of this link:
http://books.google.com/books?id=jdQ...page&q&f=false

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01-27-2011, 11:49 AM
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Jarick
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It's interesting but those shot times have to be completely worthless. There's no way a guy can shoot a wrist shot over 100 mph or faster than his slap shot, unless his slap shot was terrible.

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01-27-2011, 11:55 AM
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Finally disproofing the myth that Bobby Hull had a 118 mph slapshot.

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01-27-2011, 11:58 AM
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Two things that stand out instantly:

- the calibration of the devices they used to measure objects at high speeds, like flying pucks, has to be off. There couldn't be that many people shooting that fast.

- Look at the speeds of the league's fastest players (I assume those are the fastest) and then look at the team averages. This is a massive gap between the league's fastest, average, and worst skaters. You have Hull at 29, a handful of players within 2 mph, but then the fastest team only averages 22. Which means for every player at 25, they likely have one at 19. Look at the NY Rangers, averaging 19. So for every guy at 22, they'd have to have a guy at 16 to average 19.

There were some really slow players back then, compared to the stars. There were players who literally could barely skate half as fast as Bobby Hull.

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01-27-2011, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unknown33 View Post
Finally disproofing the myth that Bobby Hull had a 118 mph slapshot.
What in the original post disproves the myth that Bobby Hull had a 118mph slapshot?

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01-27-2011, 12:06 PM
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Anyone know the method used for measurement of shot speed?

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01-27-2011, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarick View Post
It's interesting but those shot times have to be completely worthless. There's no way a guy can shoot a wrist shot over 100 mph or faster than his slap shot, unless his slap shot was terrible.
Gordie Howe himself says he never really used a slap shot, more of a snap shot with little of the wind up others used.

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01-27-2011, 12:32 PM
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I still can't believe a guy who was under 6' could shoot the puck 12 mph harder than Zdeno Chara. I'm guessing Hull could have been in the low- to mid-100's. Now Howe 8 mph harder than Chara's slapper on a WRIST shot...nope.

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01-27-2011, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarick View Post
I still can't believe a guy who was under 6' could shoot the puck 12 mph harder than Zdeno Chara. I'm guessing Hull could have been in the low- to mid-100's. Now Howe 8 mph harder than Chara's slapper on a WRIST shot...nope.
I agree that the number is ridiculous, but the size of the player isn't a huge factor.



Stamkos is 8 inches and 67 pounds lighter than Chara. That shot was less than 1mph slower than Chara's 105.4 shot.

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01-27-2011, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor No View Post
What in the original post disproves the myth that Bobby Hull had a 118mph slapshot?
Four players having a harder wrist shot than MacInnis' slapshot.
Does this make any sense to you?

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01-27-2011, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unknown33 View Post
Four players having a harder wrist shot than MacInnis' slapshot.
Does this make any sense to you?
Yep and considering what a dangerously scary weapon macinnis' shot was a 110+ shot against goalies with old style masks would be a major problem. These guys would score on an absurdly high % of the shots they took. I'd venture to guess that those numbers are inflated by at least 10 MPH and probably drastically more in most instances.

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01-27-2011, 01:16 PM
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With this year's skills competition coming up, is there any way we could translate those skating speeds into something comparable to the Fastest Skater results? It would be really interesting to know how Hull compares to the league's current skaters.

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01-27-2011, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unknown33 View Post
Four players having a harder wrist shot than MacInnis' slapshot.
Does this make any sense to you?
It's surely suspicious, but it's not a "disproof".

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01-27-2011, 01:44 PM
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Hasn't the issue with those shot speeds always been about stick weight? Back then the league didn't have the restrictions they have today, and Bobby Hull was said to have used a stick quite a bit heavier than the maximum allowed today. The more mass you have the more force you can generate. Looking at it that way, there is a chance that the numbers were close to accurate.

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01-27-2011, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
Two things that stand out instantly:

- the calibration of the devices they used to measure objects at high speeds, like flying pucks, has to be off. There couldn't be that many people shooting that fast.

- Look at the speeds of the league's fastest players (I assume those are the fastest) and then look at the team averages. This is a massive gap between the league's fastest, average, and worst skaters. You have Hull at 29, a handful of players within 2 mph, but then the fastest team only averages 22. Which means for every player at 25, they likely have one at 19. Look at the NY Rangers, averaging 19. So for every guy at 22, they'd have to have a guy at 16 to average 19.

There were some really slow players back then, compared to the stars. There were players who literally could barely skate half as fast as Bobby Hull.
Are there numbers like these available for current NHL teams and stars? I would bet that the variance of skating speeds is much lower today. It would also be interesting to see these stats year by year and how they change. For example, I bet there would be a big jump going from a couple years before the lockout to a couple years after.

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01-27-2011, 02:06 PM
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No, I doubt it. If heavier sticks really made that much of a difference, everyone would be using the heaviest sticks possible, not the lightest. And heavier sticks mean lower swing speed, which means lower velocity.

I have only a rudimentary physics knowledge, but stick mass shouldn't play a factor. You've got torque and angular velocity. You have the initial windup and swing, which is angular momentum, and then you have the bend of the stick and the torque which occurs when a player hits the ice before the puck, storing energy into the stick, which releases all that stored energy along with the forward momentum of the player before/during the swing and the angular momentum of the swing itself.

So the variables at play would be:
- initial skating speed (i.e. skating into the shot with the puck rather than from a standstill)
- stick swinging speed (lighter stick = better)
- player height (longer torque arm)
- player strength (greater torque force
- compression and energy storage in the stick (more energy stored = better)

No doubt Hull was possibly the fastest and strongest skater in the NHL at the time, and that's exactly why I believe that he could have the hardest slapshot in the NHL at the time. Skating with the puck at close to 30 mph and then releasing a perfect slapshot could mean close to 110 mph. The downsides would be his height, meaning he had a much shorter torque arm than say a Zdeno Chara, and the technology.

Now to date there hasn't been much difference in shot speeds between wood and composite and I'm not sure how you would engineer the stick to improve upon wood. I'm sure it's possible and maybe even probable that Hull would have hard a harder slapshot with the perfect composite stick. And I also am guessing with his immense strength he would have needed a very stiff stick that would have been heavy as well (not sure if they had fiberglass or carbon reinforcement back then).

But I don't know how much faith I put in that 118 mph slapper, especially in light of those other ridiculous numbers.

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01-27-2011, 02:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyD View Post
Are there numbers like these available for current NHL teams and stars? I would bet that the variance of skating speeds is much lower today.
there's no need to "bet" that the difference in speeds is less now, we can easily see this with our own eyes. There is barely any discernable difference in skating speeds between 80% of the league. Just the 10% fastest and 10% slowest really stand out.

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01-27-2011, 02:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarick View Post
No, I doubt it. If heavier sticks really made that much of a difference, everyone would be using the heaviest sticks possible, not the lightest. And heavier sticks mean lower swing speed, which means lower velocity.

I have only a rudimentary physics knowledge, but stick mass shouldn't play a factor. You've got torque and angular velocity. You have the initial windup and swing, which is angular momentum, and then you have the bend of the stick and the torque which occurs when a player hits the ice before the puck, storing energy into the stick, which releases all that stored energy along with the forward momentum of the player before/during the swing and the angular momentum of the swing itself.

So the variables at play would be:
- initial skating speed (i.e. skating into the shot with the puck rather than from a standstill)
- stick swinging speed (lighter stick = better)
- player height (longer torque arm)
- player strength (greater torque force
- compression and energy storage in the stick (more energy stored = better)

No doubt Hull was possibly the fastest and strongest skater in the NHL at the time, and that's exactly why I believe that he could have the hardest slapshot in the NHL at the time. Skating with the puck at close to 30 mph and then releasing a perfect slapshot could mean close to 110 mph. The downsides would be his height, meaning he had a much shorter torque arm than say a Zdeno Chara, and the technology.

Now to date there hasn't been much difference in shot speeds between wood and composite and I'm not sure how you would engineer the stick to improve upon wood. I'm sure it's possible and maybe even probable that Hull would have hard a harder slapshot with the perfect composite stick. And I also am guessing with his immense strength he would have needed a very stiff stick that would have been heavy as well (not sure if they had fiberglass or carbon reinforcement back then).

But I don't know how much faith I put in that 118 mph slapper, especially in light of those other ridiculous numbers.
Stick mass definitely plays a factor. If you make all of those variables the same and change the mass of the stick the heavier stick will produce a faster shot. The question is, do the advantages of a lighter stick make up for the disadvantage of less mass? It is clear that with stick mass limited a lighter stick is better because that is what all players use, but we don't know how it would be if there were no limit.


Last edited by Hawkey Town 18: 01-27-2011 at 02:19 PM.
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01-27-2011, 02:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
there's no need to "bet" that the difference in speeds is less now, we can easily see this with our own eyes. There is barely any discernable difference in skating speeds between 80% of the league. Just the 10% fastest and 10% slowest really stand out.
Agree, this is certain. The thing that would be interesting to see is how the league got to this point over time.


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01-27-2011, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarick View Post
No, I doubt it. If heavier sticks really made that much of a difference, everyone would be using the heaviest sticks possible, not the lightest. And heavier sticks mean lower swing speed, which means lower velocity.

I have only a rudimentary physics knowledge, but stick mass shouldn't play a factor. You've got torque and angular velocity. You have the initial windup and swing, which is angular momentum, and then you have the bend of the stick and the torque which occurs when a player hits the ice before the puck, storing energy into the stick, which releases all that stored energy along with the forward momentum of the player before/during the swing and the angular momentum of the swing itself.

So the variables at play would be:
- initial skating speed (i.e. skating into the shot with the puck rather than from a standstill)
- stick swinging speed (lighter stick = better)
- player height (longer torque arm)
- player strength (greater torque force
- compression and energy storage in the stick (more energy stored = better)
You need to look at this from a common-sense point of view.

If a bullet hits a person at 500 mph, does it knock him/her back the same distance as a space shuttle hitting someone at 500mph? If a feather hits a the earth at 10,000 mph, does it make the earth move the same speed as if the moon hit it at 10,000 mph?





To make it more obvious:
Quote:
You have the initial windup and swing, which is angular momentum
Angular momentum is [radius of movement] x [linear momentum]

Linear momentum is [mass] x [velocity]

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01-27-2011, 02:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyD View Post
Stick mass definitely plays a factor. If you make all of those variables the same and change the mass of the stick the heavier stick will produce a faster shot. The question is, do the advantages of a lighter stick make up for the disadvantage of less mass? It is clear that with stick mass limited a lighter stick is better because that is what all players use, but we don't know how it would be if there were no limit.
http://www.thephysicsofhockey.com/im...est%20shot.pdf

Quote:
The fact that Hull sometimes used a stick that is heavier than today’s legal limit was probably not a factor
I can't find any way that a heavier stick would make for a harder shot. Mass wouldn't have anything to do with it. Stiffness of the stick or blade would, but not mass. We're measuring velocity, not force...the mass of the puck would change the force of the puck, but the main component is velocity of the stick blade.

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01-27-2011, 02:58 PM
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Bobby Hull would easily still be one of the stronger players in the league right now. 118MPH is ridiculous, but there's no question he had a blast.

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01-27-2011, 03:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarick View Post
http://www.thephysicsofhockey.com/im...est%20shot.pdf



I can't find any way that a heavier stick would make for a harder shot. Mass wouldn't have anything to do with it. Stiffness of the stick or blade would, but not mass. We're measuring velocity, not force...the mass of the puck would change the force of the puck, but the main component is velocity of the stick blade.
See my previous post.

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01-27-2011, 03:09 PM
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Those numbers are nowhere close to real. Not possible sorry.

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01-27-2011, 03:12 PM
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It can't be an appreciable impact otherwise it would have been explored by manufacturers, who are lightening the weight in the blade as much as possible to increase swing speed. As I said, I haven't found a single resource about slapshots that says a heavier stick will make for a faster shot. The biggest things are the amount of energy that can be stored in the stick, and the player himself, who will create the swing speed and put the force into the stick.

All things equal (obviously not a real case scenario), a taller player would be able to get more torque out of a longer stick, which is why the taller players typically have the hardest shots (or players that use really long sticks).

I'd definitely agree Hull would be as much a beast today as he was back then. His physique is more muscular than most players and his strength and skating ability would likely mean he'd have one of the hardest shots.

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