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The History of Hockey Relive great moments in hockey history and discuss how the game has changed over time.

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

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01-28-2011, 09:51 AM
  #51
tarheelhockey
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To put those skating speeds into context, I took a stopwatch and timed the Fastest Skater contestants' time from blueline to blueline on the second leg of their skate. I figure that's as fast as an NHL skater can conceivably go, since they've had time to build up speed.

Typically it took them between 1.3 and 1.6 seconds to travel the 50 feet from blueline to blueline. That converts to 26.22 miles per hour.

I'm afraid the 1968 numbers are almost certainly inflated.

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01-28-2011, 11:55 AM
  #52
seventieslord
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I'm afraid the 1968 numbers are almost certainly inflated.
watching Bobby Hull on a breakaway, I'm not so sure that they are.

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01-28-2011, 12:00 PM
  #53
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Those numbers are very clearly significantly inflated. There is no way in hell Gordie Howe had a 118 mph wrist shot.

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01-28-2011, 12:14 PM
  #54
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
watching Bobby Hull on a breakaway, I'm not so sure that they are.
I am actually willing to buy Hull being faster than any other skater on record, but not that there were at least 10 guys in the league in 1968 who were MUCH faster than anybody in the league today. That's just not plausible.

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01-28-2011, 12:27 PM
  #55
seventieslord
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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
I am actually willing to buy Hull being faster than any other skater on record, but not that there were at least 10 guys in the league in 1968 who were MUCH faster than anybody in the league today. That's just not plausible.
1-2 mph is not MUCH faster... considering the average was considerably lower, it looks plausible to me.

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01-28-2011, 12:40 PM
  #56
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I had the good fortune of being on the ice as a Linesman with eight of the nine players listed with the fastest shot. During the 1960's, the only one that you really heard anyone talk about was Hull's shot. Goalies not only talked about the speed of his shot, but also about it being a heavy shot.

Bottom line, with all the discussion about wood sticks vs composite sticks and the different body shape and size of the players, is that with either a wood or composite stick, 100 mph is still 100 mph.

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01-28-2011, 01:25 PM
  #57
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
1-2 mph is not MUCH faster... considering the average was considerably lower, it looks plausible to me.
Doesn't matter if it's a lot or little...10 players in 1967 faster than today's fastest skaters? Absurd.

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01-28-2011, 01:33 PM
  #58
seventieslord
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Heavy shot, hey? I hope a couple physicas guys can come in here and debate if there is a such thing as a "heavy" shot.

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01-28-2011, 01:37 PM
  #59
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Originally Posted by Zine View Post
Doesn't matter if it's a lot or little...10 players in 1967 faster than today's fastest skaters? Absurd.
keep in mind there's also a ton of potential error involved (percentage-wise) in measuring such a small distance as tarheel did, over such a short time. And look at the range he observed - a 23% difference from slowest to fastest.

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01-28-2011, 01:50 PM
  #60
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
Heavy shot, hey? I hope a couple physicas guys can come in here and debate if there is a such thing as a "heavy" shot.
I played goal for far too long and there is definitely a "heavy shot" but has nothing to do with weight.
Only how much spin the puck has, the more spin, the more the puck wants to deflect away from you.
The less spin, the more dead weight is hitting you.

I dunno if you ever played baseball against a pitcher that could throw a good knuckle ball but hitting a knuckle ball is more of a shock to your arms than hitting a rapidly spinning fastball going 10+ mph faster.

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01-28-2011, 01:52 PM
  #61
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Guys, why are you having trouble believing that the ultra-conditioned athletes of today are slower than guys that never picked up a weight in their life?

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01-28-2011, 02:03 PM
  #62
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Originally Posted by spcastlemagic View Post
Guys, why are you having trouble believing that the ultra-conditioned athletes of today are slower than guys that never picked up a weight in their life?
Because for many, it blows the myth that their heroes were superhuman.

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01-28-2011, 02:04 PM
  #63
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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
I played goal for far too long and there is definitely a "heavy shot" but has nothing to do with weight.
Only how much spin the puck has, the more spin, the more the puck wants to deflect away from you.
The less spin, the more dead weight is hitting you.

I dunno if you ever played baseball against a pitcher that could throw a good knuckle ball but hitting a knuckle ball is more of a shock to your arms than hitting a rapidly spinning fastball going 10+ mph faster.
OK, that makes some sense. I figured it had to have something to do with spin, since all you can affect is the velocity, trajectory and spin.

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Originally Posted by spcastlemagic View Post
Guys, why are you having trouble believing that the ultra-conditioned athletes of today are slower than guys that never picked up a weight in their life?
did you forget a sarcasm emoticon there?

anyway, have you seen Bobby Hull in his prime without a shirt? It's scary. The old hockey I've watched tells me that the average player wasn't as good as now. And I've already said those shot speeds look out of whack. But it's not implausible for these guys (who were 20 pounds lighter) to be skating as fast as today's players. Look at the numbers - the averages clearly lag behind and the true stars are way out in front, which confirms exactly what you'd see if watching.

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01-28-2011, 02:19 PM
  #64
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Just because the average hockey player in the 60's and 70's didn't work out as much as the average player today doesn't mean that none of them did.

Besides, technique>>>leg strength in skating speed.

Now I'm not saying those numbers are 100% accurate by any means heh but I also have no doubt that Hull would still be amongst the faster skaters in the league today and Orr amongst the fastest.

It's not like anyone was beating Gartner and he was in the WHA in '78 and was known for his blazing speed then.

By all means though, get out a stop watch, grab some old video of Orr going blueline to blueline and then do the same for Bure, Fedorov ect and see what you get.

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01-28-2011, 02:28 PM
  #65
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I have never seen calves on any other hockey player like Bobby Hull had. They were enormous. If the players from back in the 60's and 70's had the lighter equipment that they have today, would that not make them just a little bit faster?

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01-28-2011, 03:28 PM
  #66
seventieslord
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Originally Posted by mbhhofr View Post
I have never seen calves on any other hockey player like Bobby Hull had. They were enormous. If the players from back in the 60's and 70's had the lighter equipment that they have today, would that not make them just a little bit faster?
not to mention, the players themselves were on average 20 pounds lighter back then.

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01-28-2011, 03:47 PM
  #67
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Originally Posted by nik jr View Post
i said in OP that the measurements are inflated, and i am surprised so many posters are mentioning that rather than comparing the players.
Yes this discussion is bizarre. Obviously the numbers aren't actually 100% accurate. Their value is in comparing players of that era, not comparing them to todays numbers considering we don't know how far off the numbers actually are.

The numbers basically seem to back up the anecdotal evidence from the time as far as Hull and Howe, although I'm surprised by how physically dominant Howe still was. I might be underrating him historically when it comes to physically gifted players.


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01-28-2011, 03:50 PM
  #68
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
keep in mind there's also a ton of potential error involved (percentage-wise) in measuring such a small distance as tarheel did, over such a short time. And look at the range he observed - a 23% difference from slowest to fastest.
Yeah using a stop watch over such a short distance is very imprecise, and the margin of error can change the outcome by a significant amount. You'd need to properly test NHL players today to get a more accurate comparison chart.

That said I still don't think Hull would remain the fastest player of all time, or that players back then are as fast as today. Any benefit from lighter weights is probably countered by improvements in equipment. More importantly though, in single skill competitions there is always gradual improvement over generations. I'm thinking of Olympic world records, apart from special circumstances such as the Mexico City long jump record, there's never been a superman that newer generations couldn't beat. I'm not talking about team sports which are much more complex and makes allowances for players like Wayne Gretzky, but just those single skill competitions.

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01-28-2011, 04:35 PM
  #69
seventieslord
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Yeah using a stop watch over such a short distance is very imprecise, and the margin of error can change the outcome by a significant amount. You'd need to properly test NHL players today to get a more accurate comparison chart.

That said I still don't think Hull would remain the fastest player of all time, or that players back then are as fast as today. Any benefit from lighter weights is probably countered by improvements in equipment. More importantly though, in single skill competitions there is always gradual improvement over generations. I'm thinking of Olympic world records, apart from special circumstances such as the Mexico City long jump record, there's never been a superman that newer generations couldn't beat. I'm not talking about team sports which are much more complex and makes allowances for players like Wayne Gretzky, but just those single skill competitions.
I absolutely acknowledge that you could be right, my only point is that this is plausible and shouldn't be dismissed as fast as the shot speed numbers.

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01-28-2011, 04:47 PM
  #70
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To me, these numbers seem to verify that the shooters were skating with the puck at close to top speed when the shots were taken.

If Hull could skate at ~28mph with the puck, I'll say that he was maybe going a little less than 20mph on his shot. That puts his stationary shot speed (simplified) at around 100mph. Very believable, IMO.







There's no way, as far as I'm concerned, that these shots were taken from a standstill. I can't see a 114mph wristshot as believable, and I see measuring implements having an error of +15% as even more ridiculous.

For gods sake, it's not like this was the stone age. There were particle accelerators up and running in the 30s. They were proving wave-particle duality via double-slit photon experiments in 1909.
In 1958, they had measured the speed of light in a vacuum (c) to within 0.000014% of its exact definition today.

More than 6 years later, it's ridiculous to think that they would **** up the measurement of a rubber disc by 15%.

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01-29-2011, 02:17 AM
  #71
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Originally Posted by JackSlater View Post
Yes this discussion is bizarre. Obviously the numbers aren't actually 100% accurate. Their value is in comparing players of that era, not comparing them to todays numbers considering we don't know how far off the numbers actually are.

The numbers basically seem to back up the anecdotal evidence from the time as far as Hull and Howe, although I'm surprised by how physically dominant Howe still was. I might be underrating him historically when it comes to physically gifted players.
i think howe probably did not have as high a peak as the other 3 super-elite players, but howe seems to have had no weaknesses other than dirty play/penalties.

there seems to be a general view of howe among fans as a ferocious brute who succeeded through intimidation and pure force. but whenever i have seen games of howe, his talent is more apparent than his power game. his strength was also easy to see, especially on the boards.

frank selke said howe was "an exceptional stickhandler," and gilbert perreault said that he admired the stickhandling of beliveau, as well as moore and howe.

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01-29-2011, 11:22 AM
  #72
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Originally Posted by nik jr View Post
i think howe probably did not have as high a peak as the other 3 super-elite players, but howe seems to have had no weaknesses other than dirty play/penalties.

there seems to be a general view of howe among fans as a ferocious brute who succeeded through intimidation and pure force. but whenever i have seen games of howe, his talent is more apparent than his power game. his strength was also easy to see, especially on the boards.

frank selke said howe was "an exceptional stickhandler," and gilbert perreault said that he admired the stickhandling of beliveau, as well as moore and howe.
Yep, same here.

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01-29-2011, 01:22 PM
  #73
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To me, these numbers seem to verify that the shooters were skating with the puck at close to top speed when the shots were taken.

If Hull could skate at ~28mph with the puck, I'll say that he was maybe going a little less than 20mph on his shot. That puts his stationary shot speed (simplified) at around 100mph. Very believable, IMO.

There's no way, as far as I'm concerned, that these shots were taken from a standstill. I can't see a 114mph wristshot as believable, and I see measuring implements having an error of +15% as even more ridiculous.

For gods sake, it's not like this was the stone age. There were particle accelerators up and running in the 30s. They were proving wave-particle duality via double-slit photon experiments in 1909.
In 1958, they had measured the speed of light in a vacuum (c) to within 0.000014% of its exact definition today.

More than 6 years later, it's ridiculous to think that they would **** up the measurement of a rubber disc by 15%.
Great post. I think you're right on the money.

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01-29-2011, 01:23 PM
  #74
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In 1958, they had measured the speed of light in a vacuum (c) to within 0.000014% of its exact definition today.

More than 6 years later, it's ridiculous to think that they would **** up the measurement of a rubber disc by 15%.
Were those same scientists manning the research here?...

Seriously, all of these stats are garbage. All we can use them for is to rank the players measured (and even I would hesitate doing that given the inaccuracy).

Pappyline, I am in no way slighting the past, but there s no chance in hell that Howe's wrist shot is faster than Chara, Souray or Weber's slapshot.

Jokes.

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01-29-2011, 01:26 PM
  #75
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Were those same scientists manning the research here?...

Seriously, all of these stats are garbage. All we can use them for is to rank the players measured (and even I would hesitate doing that given the inaccuracy).

Pappyline, I am in no way slighting the past, but there s no chance in hell that Howe's wrist shot is faster than Chara, Souray or Weber's slapshot.

Jokes.
It could be if they were in motion when they shot it.. or did you not even read the post you quoted?

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