The Ontario League's London Knights are using technology to their advantage, as Apple's iPads have made their way onto the bench to help coaches and players breakdown the game in real-time.
It’s long been said that hockey is a game of inches. That’s no different in London, where the Knights are apparently using every tool available to them in order to make sure that luck falls on their side.
The Knights, who are currently sitting in third place in the Midwest Division, have a long, storied history and established a winning tradition over a decade ago that has come to be expected of the franchise. In keeping with being a progressive and successful organization, the Knights are now employing a bit of technology, the almighty iPad, to help them shore up what needs to be fixed.
That’s right, an iPad, the Apple device that’s used more often for Candy Crush and Angry Birds than it is for helping out a hockey team, has been the Knights’ ace in the hole this season.
The tale of the iPads, which comes from Jonathon Brodie of OurWindsor.ca, is actually quite interesting. In fact, Rob Simpson, assistant coach and GM of the Knights, told Brodie it played a part in London handing Connor McDavid and the Erie Otters their first loss of the season.
During the Oct. 15 contest, Simpson noticed that Erie was leaving some space for a defenseman to pinch down while killing penalties. He quickly brought up some game footage in the middle of play, showed it to his power play unit, and, just like that, Julius Bergman put London ahead 3-1 with a power play marker. The Knights would go on to win the game 4-3 in a shootout.
What makes the use of the iPads so interesting is that it gives the Knights a weapon that no other team in the league, at least to this point, has. While it’s hit-or-miss on the road, at home it’s a tool that can be the deciding factor between a win and a loss. It seems to be working, too, because at home the Knights are a convincing 9-3-0-0, while playing sub-.500 hockey away from the Budweiser Gardens with a record of 4-5-0-0.
Much like the NFL and their current deal with Microsoft, which supplies each team with sideline tablets to look at game footage and go over plays, the use of iPads on the bench is something that you can likely expect to see more and more of. Already, some teams in the NHL employ the technology.
But at the junior level, teams are far behind London in this regard. The explanation of how the system works should come with a user manual. Just picture this: the iPad is connected wirelessly to a TV in the dressing room, which is connected to another device, which records the live action from Rogers TV.
Sound confusing? Well, the Knights sure hope it does. As long as other teams can’t figure out their secret recipe, they’re going to keep being rewarded when they get their own home cooking.