About This Episode
Get your skates, grab your stick, and join Chuck Nice and Gary O’Reilly as they find out why hockey has more science in it than any sport on Earth! In Part 1, Chuck and Gary focus on shots and sticks. First up, you’ll learn all about slap shots with physics professor Alain Haché, the author of Slap Shot Science and The Physics of Hockey. Find out how hitting the stick on the ice before making contact with the puck loads the stick with more energy to transfer to the puck, sending it shooting towards the net at over 100 mph. You’ll hear about the “dead zone” wherein the goalie’s human reflexes simply don’t have enough time to react to a shot, and how goalies overcome a short “read time” by defending the goal using the “Butterfly” technique. Discover the role that spin plays in passing or shooting, and how the flick of a player’s wrist and the twist of the stick can impart the puck with the stability it needs. Next, Chuck and Gary are joined by Bauer Hockey’s VP of Product, Craig Desjardin, to discuss today’s hockey sticks. Investigate the new carbon fiber composites and manufacturing techniques used to produce these high-tech wonders, including how Bauer, who controls 40% of the sticks made for the NFL, customizes each stick to the playing styles of individual pro hockey players. Explore why hockey sticks have to be far more versatile than golf clubs or baseball bats, playing critical roles in shooting, passing, stick handling, receiving passes, slashing other players and taking face-offs. Dive into flex points and kick points, stick weights, blade sizes, shapes and surfaces. Find out why there are different types of sticks for different types of playing style and positions, and what kind of player would prefer a stick that’s more “whippy down towards the hosel.” Last but not least, Gary and Chuck talk with Daryl Evans, the former LA King player who is currently the team’s color commentator. Daryl recounts the “Miracle in Manchester” – the greatest comeback in the history of the NHL, where he scored the winning overtime goal to help the Kings beat Wayne Gretzky and the Edmonton Oilers in the 1982 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Daryl also reflects on how the game has changed over the years, and how it “used to be about the magician, and now, it’s more about the wand.” And that’s just Part 1. In Part 2 next week, Gary and Chuck will look at the science and technology of skates, and the physics of ice and collisions.
NOTE: All-Access subscribers can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free here: Hockey: Physics on Ice (Part 1).