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