Hockey is one of the
fastest sports on earth. Players travel as
fast as vehicles. Hockey pucks scream along
the ice at 90 miles per hour. [crowd cheering] – You gotta know not
just what you’re doing, but what everyone else is doing, and where everyone else
is, so it’s awareness, knowing where they’re going, anticipating where they’re going so that you can get the
puck to them in time, or your body in time. – [Frank] But it’s
not just practice that helps the
Carolina Hurricanes win in this fast and frozen sport. It’s science. We spent some time at a
Hurricanes practice to find out. – There’s a lot going on
in about a split second, and these guys are so good,
they figure it all out. – We’ve just played for so long. It just comes naturally now. – There’s a lot of information being thrown at you
as a goal because you gotta worry
about the shooter, you gotta worry
about pass options, is there a screen, could it
hit somebody in front of you, and it’s a broken play? – [Frank] Let’s look
first at the slapshot. It’s one of the most
exciting moments in hockey, as well as a dramatic example of how multiple types
of energy are used. The power comes from the
player transferring weight from the back legs,
through the body, down the arms, and right
through to the stick. The moving player
and the moving stick are examples of kinetic energy. That’s the energy of movement. But there’s more
to it than that. – Obviously, it’s a big wind up, but you’re trying to hit,
actually, the ice first. People may or may not know that. That so you can bend the stick. The stick’s actually
doing the work. – [Frank] The bent stick is an
example of potential energy, the energy stored in an object. When the stick
actually hits the puck, the energy stored
in the bowed stick is converted to kinetic energy and released into the puck. The overall motion of
the shooter combined with the stick snapping back gives the slapshot so much power. – That torque on that
stick’s gonna make that puck go where it wants
to go, or the speed at which it wants to go. Obviously, the
bigger, stronger guys can get a little more
torque on their stick, a little more bent,
creates a lot more velocity through the puck. – [Frank] It turns out,
there are different types of hockey sticks. – There’s a lot of physics
that goes into that, for sure. A lot of guys use
different flexes of stick. I use more of a whippy stick
so it’s easier to move. Guys like Justin Faulk
use a really stiff stick, so that means,
basically, if you have a lot of upper body strength,
you use a stiffer stick, then you’re gonna
have a harder shot just ’cause of the basic
physics of the stick. – [Frank] Here’s a
different type of shot. Players call it a
flick or a wrist shot. – Now you’re talking
about no wind up, but you’re still, if you watch, guys’ll get torque
on that stick. It’s still watching, that
stick’s still gonna bend, so now the puck’s
right on the stick, but they’re pushing
into the ice to get, again, that bend on that stick to get that stick
to do the work, and that whip of that stick
is getting the work done. Obviously, they have
to have strength, and you have to have timing,
and you have to have skill to put the puck
where you want it. That’s a whole nother game. – [Frank] That’s an example of what’s called projectile motion, how an object propelled
through the air is influenced by gravity. As the player snaps his wrist, the puck rolls off the blade
and towards the target. The longer the puck is in
contact with the stick, the faster it spins when
it leaves the stick. That spin keeps
the puck on target, even though gravity
is pulling it down. – You’ll move it on your stick depending on where
you want to shoot it. Guys’ll pull it in to get more torque in
here, get that bend. Sometimes, guys like it, depending on the
curve of their stick. There’s a lot of stuff going on, where you release the
puck off the blade. – These players are so good that they can start with
the puck out here, but by the time they release
it, it’s two feet in tighter, so they’re changing their angle, trying to sneak one by you. – [Frank] Finally,
there’s passing. It’s one of the most
important skills in hockey. Passing involves
speed, accuracy, and a vision of
what is happening. – How fast they’re
moving, obviously. If they’re moving, then
for sure, you’re passing it where you think they’re gonna
be, where they’re going. That’s the famous Wayne
Gretzky quote, is, he’s not going
where the puck is, he’s going where
the puck is going. – [Frank] Passing
is an example of what’s called velocity
vectors in physics. A vector is a quantity with more than one piece
of information. The players and the puck itself all have speed and direction. Putting the vectors
together shows where the puck needs to
go to complete the pass. Of course, hockey players do
all of this instinctively. – There’s a lot
going into passing. It looks like
nothing’s going on, but there’s a pace of
the pass, number one, the curve that
you’re passing it to. If the guys on his forehand,
I can fire it hard, meaning I don’t have
to lead him too much. He’s on his backhand where it’s a harder pass to
accept, I’d better put a little more touch on
it, a little more gentle, if you will, and I
maybe have to put it a little ahead of
him a little more so he can skate into it. There’s a lot going on. People don’t need to
probably know all that. At the end of the
day, it’s putting it in the back of the
net, however you can.