NHL Teams Using iPad Software to Analyze Team and Individual Play

NHL teams are using iPad software to “optimize” how their teams play.

According to a new report from The Athletic, NHL teams are using iPad software to better analyze and improve their teams.

The first version of SAP-NHL Coaching Insights app for iPad launched in 2019, with stats like time on ice for each player and face-off percentages with specific player matchups — for a total of over 75 individual stats and over 50 team stats.

The second version of the app, which is currently in use by every NHL team, uses data and stats collected during each game and transmits it to iPads in near real-time. But the accuracy of the data is increasing thanks to small RF sensors embedded in each player’s jersey, and soon, the same type of sensor will be added to every puck used in live games.

The sensors transmit data 12 times per second when the players are on the ice, once per second when they’re on the bench, and the puck transmits data 60 times per second throughout the game, explains the report.

“It’s a huge part of coaching in today’s game,” Pittsburgh Penguins coach Mike Sullivan told The Athletic. “We’re trying to get better every day, and you do that on the ice, but you can’t only get better on the ice. You need to get better in all aspects, and you need to use every tool that’s available to you, and that’s where the technology and these iPads have become so important.”

The app continues to improve as it receives team feedback, with new metrics and features being added regularly. Puck tracking, for instance, was found to be unreliable, so developers pulled the feature from the app. Developers have begun fixing it so that it may make a return in future updates.

“Everyone else is trying to find the edge and best use these tools,” Sullivan added. “So we are all essentially competing to understand it best.”