Olympic Vision Day 14: Hockey Vision

sochi-winter-olympics-2014-main-image

Team Canada has been criticized for the lack of goal production from their forwards and that if it wasn’t for the defense they would be dire straits.  During the preliminary rounds Team Canada has 7 goals from defensemen and 6 from forwards.

If you are looking for a possible answer perhaps it has to do with hand-eye reaction time.

In a previous post we looked at what it takes to stop a slapshot in the NHL.  Let’s say you have an average NHL defenseman with an 85mph slapshot, shooting at you from the blueline, about 55 feet away.  It will take that slap shot 430 milliseconds to reach you.

olympic ice

Everyone knows that the Olympic ice is wider, but you may not remember that the goal line and blue line are closer together as well….6 feet closer.  That means the defense is shooting from 6 feet closer.  So now that 85mph slapshot is reaching the goalie in 393 milliseconds.

To save it the goalies must react 10% faster.

So knowing this, do you think the increased goal production by the defense is an accident?