NHL EDGE: Behind Ovechkin's power-play goal

Normally, hockey fans only get to see the tip of the iceberg when it comes to in-game stats and data.

Now, thanks to the NHL DataCast powered by AWS, fans will have the opportunity to see a whole different side of the game.

During the Western Conference Final between the Dallas Stars and Edmonton Oilers, the League will provide an alternative broadcast that will use NHL EDGE data to provide fans with a new way to watch the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The alternate broadcast will be available on truTV and Max for each game of the series.

“We’re going to lean into what all those data points are, to show people at home that there’s another layer of storytelling happening,” said Matt Celli, vice president of NHL Studios. “We’re providing [the people at home] an additional visualization of all these data points that you can’t get on a traditional A-level hockey broadcast.”

NHL EDGE puck and player tracking uses infrared technology and multiple cameras to bring fans inside the game.

During the broadcast, fans will see a graphic on screen with real-time stats such as time on ice, faceoff probability, hardest shot, fastest skater, distance skated and more.

“It’s all about visualizing the data to be able to get this across for everybody at home,” Celli said.

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The alternate broadcast will be hosted by Steve Mears, along with World Championship gold medalist Colby Armstrong and NHL Network analyst Mike Kelly, starting with Game 1 of the series on Thursday at 8:30 p.m.

Celli said it takes a crew of about 50 people to put together the show, not including those that are on-site for the game. The alternate broadcast will be based in Atlanta.

“We are pulling together lots of areas of expertise with different and unique visual and graphic data points,” Celli said. “That’s a fun thing to try and figure out and create something from scratch.”

Of course, with these extra layers of data comes extra challenges that aren’t seen with the traditional hockey broadcast, but Celli said the crew is more than ready to face things head-on.

“Nothing is without challenges,” Celli said. “But when you’re working with a group of people [in Atlanta] like this, it makes it pretty easy.”

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