Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 11/04/12 at 10:01 AM ET
from Joseph Hall of the Toronto Star,
How light can you make a skate? How bendy can you make a composite stick before its shooting utility breaks? What’s the optimal time to pull a goalie?
The hidebound world of hockey is resting more and more on the shoulders of science these days. (Scientists are even investigating whether leaner shoulder pads can help curb the curse of concussions). And when science is involved in a popular pursuit, you’ll usually findJay Ingram nearby.
Ingram, one of the country’s top science journalists and long-time host of Daily Planet on theDiscovery Channel Canada took a look at the physics, chemistry and even statistical analysis that’s being poured onto the ice these days. The resulting special, Scoring With Science: Hockey Revealed, will air on the network Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. The Star spoke with Ingram about the program last week. Following is an edited version of that conversation.
Q. What elements of hockey are you going to be looking at in this show that can be translated into scientific terms?
A. Quite a few actually. The first thought would be the equipment. We do quite a bit on the design of skates. We went to the Bauer factory in St. Jerome, Que., and they worked very closely with an ice hockey research unit at (Montreal’s) McGill University and we spent time at both places.
So skates for one thing, sticks for another. There’s a lot of research looking into composite sticks to make sure they have the right flex and are designed in the optimum way.
But we went much further afield; we looked at the analytics of hockey.
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