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Player Tracking Is Close

from Mike McIntyre of the Winnipeg Free Press,

Brace yourselves for change, folks. Hockey as you know it is about to undergo an extreme makeover.

It's not really visible to the naked eye, but a tiny bump on the shoulder pads of every player competing in the Stanley Cup final in Edmonton is a sign of what's to come. Members of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Dallas Stars are being used as guinea pigs for NHL puck and player tracking technology, which is expected to become the new normal by the 2020-21 season.

Ever wondered just how fast Nikolaj Ehlers was skating when he made that unreal zone entry? The velocity of Patrik Laine's one-timer on the power play? How many miles of ice Mark Scheifele covered in a game? The probability of Connor Hellebuyck making the circus-like save? How effective, or not, the Winnipeg Jets defencemen are at closing the gap on opposing forwards.?

All of that information, and much, much more, will soon be available for public consumption.

The long-anticipated technology is being used in the playoffs.

"With this tracking data, now you can say a player could intercept that pass or couldn't intercept that pass, now you can say who was in the lane, who was supposed to be in the lane, who's out of position, what kind of gap control there was, how close is the closest defender to putting on pressure.

continued

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Comments

TreKronor's avatar

They’ve been talking about this for a while now, 5 plus years if I took a guess.  I wonder if we the fans will ever get a glimpse at anything more than, “McDavid’s top skating speed on Friday was 22 MPH”.

I really don’t care for any of it but I’m sure there’s some value to coaches.

Posted by TreKronor on 09/24/20 at 09:21 AM ET

SYF's avatar

Started seeing that, too, and I mentioned it in the Live Blog:  “NASCAR-style graphics…” I think I said. 

I’m a Corvette Racing fan and I watch a lot of their races on NBCSN (when they air them) so I like those little details that popup on the screen.  To me, there is value.

Posted by SYF from impossible and oddly communally possessive sluts on 09/24/20 at 11:04 AM ET

Avatar

Wasn’t this supposed to be ready for the playoffs that are currently going on? I realize that 2020 has broke everything, but I could have swore they were planning on giving us a look at this for the finals.

Posted by MZ2215 on 09/24/20 at 11:38 AM ET

Paul's avatar

I agree with you MZ…We have seen small parts but I thought we would be getting much more.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 09/24/20 at 11:39 AM ET

Avatar

Puck, Player Tracking in final testing stage before Stanley Cup Playoffs
Technology will be rolled out on TV broadcasts in postseason

https://www.nhl.com/news/puck-player-tracking-technology-unveiled-during-2020-postseason/c-315806398

alright, at least i’m not losing my mind.

Posted by MZ2215 on 09/24/20 at 11:42 AM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

as if the game wasn’t scripted enough, woo boy,

Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerHolland2.0's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 09/24/20 at 12:50 PM ET

Avatar

I don’t want to see TOO much of this in a regular broadcast but as an option in streaming broadcast it might be interesting. There is enough going on in a game so I really don’t want anything else obscuring it.

What they have done in the finals is acceptable. I especially like the shift clock for the defensemen once they exceed 45 seconds. But lets not have name banners for each player as they move up and down the ice or heaven forbid, glow streaks on slapshots.

Posted by evileye on 09/24/20 at 03:38 PM ET

Royal Grand Exalted PooBah's avatar

Why not goggles for the refs to help explain why they miss calls?  Sensors in the helmets to gage the severity of that illegal elbow that was just delivered.

All this stuff could ruin the game.

Kind of silly. I would be interested in the speed of the puck and that is it.

Posted by Royal Grand Exalted PooBah from the basement of the Alamo on 09/24/20 at 04:31 PM ET

SYF's avatar

What they have done in the finals is acceptable. I especially like the shift clock for the defensemen once they exceed 45 seconds. But lets not have name banners for each player as they move up and down the ice or heaven forbid, glow streaks on slapshots.

Posted by evileye on 09/24/20 at 03:38 PM ET

What I really, really liked was the time elapsed when a team has an extended possession in the offensive zone.  I believe it was the second period of Game Two when TBL was pinned in their own zone for nearly three whole minutes and they couldn’t get a change while DAL was rotating defensemen at will.

Posted by SYF from impossible and oddly communally possessive sluts on 09/24/20 at 05:05 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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