NHL And Lessons In Timing Tech

According the The Ottawa Citizen, the NHL Skills Challenge hit the sweet spot.

Ottawa Likes The All Star Skills Challenge......

An interesting controversy occurred in Heat 3 of the Fastest Skater contest, and we were able to put the controversy to rest immediately and decisively using technology never used before in the NHL.

Greening vs Haggelin. Haggelin in the near lane, Greening in the far lane. Haggelin’s body was clearly ahead of Greening, so much so that the announcer declared Haggelin the winner. But the announcer never looked at the clocks. Greening actually had the faster time. TV went nuts. We were asked 5 or 6 times if we got the lanes reversed. No, we did not. There was a protest. And on cue, we presented clear, decisive evidence which shut everybody up.

Andrew had deployed a Lynx photofinish camera, which captured exactly what happened. Photofinish is de rigeur for sports like athletics and cycling, and is catching on in ski racing, but has never been used in any NHL-related contests before.

Greening (Far Lane) Won With His Stick

As you can see, Haggelin’s body beat Greening’s, but Greening was either smart enough or lucky enough to use his stick to trip the photocell.

Transcript of the appeals process:

“Is that Greening? Is that Haggelin? Any questions? No, I didn’t think so.”

Well done, Andrew.

Athletes in other sports have long since discovered that a few precious hundredths or even tenths (at slower speeds) can be saved with a reach toward the line. Check out these skiers from The Hahnenkamm Downhill in Kitzbühel last week, reaching desperately for a few slivers of time with their hands.

Werner Heel, ITA

Georg Streitberger, AUT

In ski racing, photocells are used for official time, photofinish is used for auditing. The photocell sensors are mounted at about boot-top level. Look at the photofinish captures closely. Heel saved time, Streitberger did not. Streitberger didn’t get his hand low enough. At 120 KmH, reaching down and touching your toes without faceplanting isn’t easy.

These ski racers are going about 120 KmH at the finish line, which means they are going roughly 30 meters per second. At that speed, 1 meter of hand-reach translates to about 3/100 of a second in net-time reduction.

In a hockey fastest skater contest, the guys are going much slower – about 10 meters / second. At those speeds, a meter of space equals about 1/10th of a second of time, which in the case of Greening vs Haggelin was enough to give Greening the “W”.

Other highlights of the night:

Wakker At The Helm During Hardest Shot Contest

My Desk. Not A Bad Seat If You're a Hockey Fan, But I'm Not. Still, Always A Thrill To Be Close To The Action.

MAN, do these guys REEK! During the Breakaway Challenge, the whole area smelled like a herd of goats was wandering by. GUYS, WASH YOUR DAMN UNIFORMS OCCASIONALLY!!!!!

Andrew Being Interviewed About Timing Technology By A Comely Lass From NHL-TV. This Gorgeous Young Lady, Wearing An Unusual Pair of Pants, Must Have had a Premonition that Timing Technology Would Be The Talk Of The Town After The Fastest Skater Competition

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