The Heavy Shot Theory

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The Heavy Shot Theory

While I much prefer sharing opinions about our favorite hockey team and their rivals, the "They're looking for the exit wound" discussion morphed into some musing about why some shots feel "heavier" than others and forced me to revisit some previous physics lectures.

I believe the issue has to do with conservation of momentum where :

p(momentum) = m(mass) x v(velocity)

A traveling puck striking a goaltender causes an inelastic collision during which some portion of the original momentum of the puck is retained as it deflects and creates a "rebound" and another portion is transferred to the goaltender's equipment and is sensed by the goaltender as the "weight" of the shot. The relative magnitude of these quantities depends on the angle that the puck strikes the goaltender, creating a perceived difference between two shots struck with the same initial force and therefore traveling at the same speed. Rotation of the puck will also affect the force absorbed during the collision depending on its value (rpm) and direction (cw/ccw) with respect to the impact angle, but it seems that this would be of lesser importance.

Think of it as being struck with a "direct" or "glancing" blow.

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Re: The Heavy Shot Theory

I prefer to refer to it as a double

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Re: The Heavy Shot Theory

Shot is so heavy it's worthy of two threads!

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Re: The Heavy Shot Theory

You want to see heavy check the duck dynasty thread on the football forum all without the aid of alcohol or mind altering drugs (I think)

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Re: The Heavy Shot Theory

In response to kelvana33's comment:

Shot is so heavy it's worthy of two threads!

Dude, my diet starts in a couple of days.  Leave me alone.

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Re: The Heavy Shot Theory

In response to kelvana33's comment:

Shot is so heavy it's worthy of two threads!

And I still don't know why.

It's kind of a goofy saying, but as someone who uses lots of hockey metaphors (skates like the wind, hits like a truck, etc.), it doesn't bother me.  Seriously, does anyone care about this one way or the other?

Oh hey, the WJC is on...

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Re: The Heavy Shot Theory

You are probably one of many here NAS  who are a little slow on their skates or should I  say heavy.  I need the diet plan also

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Re: The Heavy Shot Theory

To weight in on the "heavy shot" theory here, I would guess that what makes a shot seem heavier would be the the puck's effeciency movement after the shot. Obviously the picks itself does not weigh more when some shooters let one rip, but the mechanics of the shot itself make the difference. To try and provide an example, if the puck is fire and it is flat, even and has an optimal spin (frisbee-like), the goalie will feel the full weight of the puck's momentum in a smaller area on the body, opposed to more of a knuckle-puck that may be tumbling and might even have 2 different parts of the puck hit the goalie at slightly different times, like the difference between a punch and a slap.

Goalies know the term "hard shot" is not just a saying... some shooter just know how to do this.

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Re: The Heavy Shot Theory

lets stay away from the equations here. dear lord.

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Re: The Heavy Shot Theory

apologies ... in the future, I will try to control my mathematical OCD

Hope everyone here has a very happy and very safe New Year's celebration and that 2014 brings yet another Cup to Boston!

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Re: The Heavy Shot Theory

The percieved  "weight" of the shot has more to do with the flex of the stick and the mechanics of the shooter rather than the angle at which the puck hits the pads. Someone who uses a stick with a great deal of flex creates more of a sling shot action when the stick releases the puck which generates a lot of speed,  whereas someone with a stiff flexx on the stick creates more tourque and power behind their shots. My son is a goaltender and summed it up pretty simple when I was doing shooting drills with him at a practice. He said to me " your shots dont come at me as fast as everyone elses, but they always hurt more". When a person is described as having a heavy shot, every shot they take feels harder not just ones that hit at a certain angle.

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Re: The Heavy Shot Theory

In response to kivvak's comment:

The percieved  "weight" of the shot has more to do with the flex of the stick and the mechanics of the shooter rather than the angle at which the puck hits the pads. Someone who uses a stick with a great deal of flex creates more of a sling shot action when the stick releases the puck which generates a lot of speed,  whereas someone with a stiff flexx on the stick creates more tourque and power behind their shots. My son is a goaltender and summed it up pretty simple when I was doing shooting drills with him at a practice. He said to me " your shots dont come at me as fast as everyone elses, but they always hurt more". When a person is described as having a heavy shot, every shot they take feels harder not just ones that hit at a certain angle.

I hear you, but I find no basis in physics to substantiate your explanation about the affect of the traveling puck on the goaltender. As I see it, leaving the stick, the puck is imparted an initial velocity that can only decrease as it travels towards the target and this momentum defines the bounds on any resulting impact. Therefore, two shots of equal velocity can only produce a different result due to the details of the collision.

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Re: The Heavy Shot Theory

In response to kivvak's comment:

The percieved  "weight" of the shot has more to do with the flex of the stick and the mechanics of the shooter rather than the angle at which the puck hits the pads. Someone who uses a stick with a great deal of flex creates more of a sling shot action when the stick releases the puck which generates a lot of speed,  whereas someone with a stiff flexx on the stick creates more tourque and power behind their shots. My son is a goaltender and summed it up pretty simple when I was doing shooting drills with him at a practice. He said to me " your shots dont come at me as fast as everyone elses, but they always hurt more". When a person is described as having a heavy shot, every shot they take feels harder not just ones that hit at a certain angle.

Regardless of the flex, a puck arriving at 90 MPH will have the same exact impact as a puck arriving at 90 MPH, unless the spin is different of course.

With further thought, I'm not sure I even buy the spin theory overall.  I think a few shots might be affected by this, but it's not as if a player can fire an absolute bomb, put it on net and intentionally control the spin of the puck as well.

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Re: The Heavy Shot Theory

Okay, I'm sucked into this.  Not my area of expertise, physics, but I'm wondering a few things.

On the physics side, the question of angle of contact makes sense to me partly in the way a tight spiral or a four seam fastball makes sense.  A shooter's mechanics could translate into a greater percentage of shots with a tight spin that minimizes the "wobble" (sorry for the technical physics terminology).  The puck would then strike the goaltender with the edge more or less flat, and the mass of the puck would drive through the point of contact more so than a puck that hit with one or the other edge first where the first deflection of the energy is going to tumble the puck up or down.  I think a goaltender would feel this even on shots where he's directing rebounds, and so controlling the angle of contact.  That's the most sense I can make to connect the mechanics of a shooter known for having a "heavy" shot, and the goaltender's perception of "heaviness".

But that's the other side of this - "heavy" is a metaphor.  The puck is the same for everyone, so what do we mean by heavy?  Functionally, we praise the "heavy" shot for it's tendency to blow through obstacles.  So a heavy shot is great for the net front tip because, while you can alter the direction a bit, it will continue hard to the net.  It's also great when it goes straight to the net because when a goalie makes partial contact with it, it will blow through him more often.  Both of these things would make sense in the context of a puck with a greater rotation and a flatter plane.  Like frisbees, baseballs, footballs - high rotation and flat plane make the object fly "true" and reduces the effect of resistance.  So heavy, in this case, is the sense that the shooter makes the puck act like a heavier object whose momentum is more difficult to deflect.

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Re: The Heavy Shot Theory

Nas and bookboy make valid points. The whole stick flexiing should not be relevant here. We are talking about 2 pucks going the same speed, but one being heavier. How the puck reaches thst speed is not a factor. What is a factor is a puck with zero wobble where 100% of its mass is transferred all at once, which =s heavy.

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Re: The Heavy Shot Theory

I think that peaple are overthinking the "heavy shot" metaphor. When an announcer uses the term, he is not compairing apples to apples. Chara has a "heavy shot" because it is travelling at 100+ MPH. Same with Webber, Boychuck, etc. The term is just implying that the shot is harder/faster than the average shot.

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Re: The Heavy Shot Theory

My understanding of the term heavy was a shot that hit the goalie hard, was hard to control. What it is in reality I'm not sure;

but might have more to do with whether the puck strikes the goalie on its vertical edge straight on or at an angle.

The placement of the shot where it strikes the goalie could be another factor:some areas are better protected than others.

Whether the puck flies straight or wobbles in flight. A wobbly or tumbling puck would lose speed and force on it's trajectory

Puck spin can I think be discounted as puck spin being on the horizontal plane would be more likely to decrease accuracy versus the vertical spin applied to a football or bullet that stabilizes the projectiles trajectory

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Re: The Heavy Shot Theory

I honestly couldn't give a skunks behind as why some players shots are "Heavier" than others. All I know is that it exist & that when certain players are shooting I'm praying it doesn't hit me in the head, the nuts, or a place where there isn't as much protection.

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Re: The Heavy Shot Theory

In response to NeelyOrrBourque's comment:

I honestly couldn't give a skunks behind as why some players shots are "Heavier" than others. All I know is that it exist & that when certain players are shooting I'm praying it doesn't hit me in the head, the nuts, or a place where there isn't as much protection.

Like Shea Weber's tying goal last night?

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Re: The Heavy Shot Theory

In response to 50belowzero's comment:

In response to NeelyOrrBourque's comment:

I honestly couldn't give a skunks behind as why some players shots are "Heavier" than others. All I know is that it exist & that when certain players are shooting I'm praying it doesn't hit me in the head, the nuts, or a place where there isn't as much protection.

Like Shea Weber's tying goal last night?

PWWTTT! Can you imagine!?

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Re: The Heavy Shot Theory

In response to NeelyOrrBourque's comment:

In response to 50belowzero's comment:

In response to NeelyOrrBourque's comment:

I honestly couldn't give a skunks behind as why some players shots are "Heavier" than others. All I know is that it exist & that when certain players are shooting I'm praying it doesn't hit me in the head, the nuts, or a place where there isn't as much protection.

Like Shea Weber's tying goal last night?

PWWTTT! Can you imagine!?

No,no, i can't even begin to.

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