This weekend, I had the honor of helping out at the Leap Towards a Cure Tournament/Event held at The Gardens Ice House in Laurel, MD. Before I go on, I’d like to commend everyone who helped organize or contributed to the event, as it was a spectacular tribute to our dear Mrs. 'Froggy' Henderson.
Last Christmas, I was given a radar gun by my father-in-law (thanks Marty!) which I’ve used several times in coaching. It’s proven especially helpful in teaching little kids about the differences between wrist, snap and slapshots (because EVERY kid wants to take slapshots). On Saturday, the gun became part of a fun game of one-up-manship between just about every hockey player in the state of Maryland.
I got to sit myself down behind a regulation-sized net while dozens of adult league players, and quite a few kids, shot hundreds of roller hockey pucks my way while I clocked them.
The shots came in all shapes and sizes (and velocities). There were some old, wooden Sherwood PMP 5030 sticks (Paul Coffey pattern, of course) at the station and nearly everyone who used one went running to their car for their own expensive composite sticks, convinced that they ‘can shoot harder than 52!’ A goalie showed up and, using one of the old wooden sticks, fired one 83mph… I unofficially declare him the winner. Alas, the best anyone in attendance could manage was 84mph (with a roller hockey puck, which is ~4mph higher than an NHL puck).
Which got me thinking about those NHL players who can fire the puck over 100mph and the players that block those shots. I’ve been hit with pucks fired from some of these adult beer league players and they definitely hurt. Those shots are in the low 80s. Adding 20mph to that, I can’t imagine doing what a shot-blocking NHL player does. It’s insane. I know they get paid well for it, but still.
So cheer when someone slides all-out to block a shot. It’s probably a lot harder than you think.