Coach Blashill tells AP’s Lage that puck-tracking hardware will enable a new level of analytics

The Associated Press’s Larry Lage asked Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill about the NHL’s intent to use pucks which include tracking hardware this season, and coach Blashill was less than thrilled with the news–which might be a good thing:

After a bumpy start last season with microchipped pucks that didn’t slide right, the latest versions have worked so well that at least one coach wasn’t sure if they were in play yet.

“I’m not aware that we have used those pucks yet this season,” Detroit Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “I wish we would so we could feel them.”

That seems to be a good sign. The NHL attempted to track pucks last January, but took them off the ice six days into the season.

“We went away from it because the puck didn’t glide right,” Blashill recalled. “It didn’t feel like a real puck. Obviously, that’s the trick. I think puck tracking is a great thing that will really help the analytics a lot.”

Blashill told Lage that the puck-tracking hardware will be good news, assuming that the pucks perform properly:

“The puck tracking piece is critical and we’re excited about it with our analytics group,” Blashill said. “We think it take some of the things we have in place and bring it to a whole other level.”

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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.