To label the strangest thing that's ever happened in hockey might be a difficult task for anyone with even a passing familiarity with the sport. But the most recent incident captured on video and later going viral on Youtube has drawn interest not only from Hockey fans, but proponents of the supernatural. During the game the puck stopped moving in mid air and changed its path with no explanation whatsoever. And from the look at the final scoreboard, it may have made a big difference in the season.
Watching the video for the first time, as the puck moves beneath Goaltender Johnathon Quick, it moves away from his stick and is simply gliding across into the goal. It then stops and makes a sharp turn with no explanation, as if it were to hit something. The only problem is, that something is either invisible or not there at all.
Hockey fans throughout the web are stating they've never seen anything like it in the history of the game, and some are calling foul on the part of the laws of physics. But conspiracies aside, what can we determine from the video? The most logical thing to do, it would appear, would be to run through the possibilities of what could have happened and see what seems possible and moreover, plausible.
First, we have the possibility of the puck bouncing off of either the stick or one of Quick's skates. Looking closely at how the puck is moving, we can rule this out. From one angle it looks like this could be a possibility, but from a top down perspective we can clearly see a space between any part of Quick and the hockey puck at all times. Strangely, despite the fact that it's apparent this is the case, several of the more mundane explanations have relied on Quick's skates being far longer than normal and invisible - which in the end is stranger than some of the paranormal explanations.
So if it wasn't one of Quick's skates, what was it? Here we get into the more fantastic explanations. Suggestions have ranged from a conspiracy involving a secret electromagnetic device that repelled the puck away during a play that didn't fit the official NHL narrative for the season to a psychic fan who repelled the puck last minute in a display of unprecedented psychokinetic power. And while it may seem to be a subtle movement to the eye, it has left many scratching their heads as it seems to contradict a few very important laws of physics.
So what was the cause of this sudden and unexplainable change in puck movement? The mystery may have something to do with the actual trajectory of the puck when it hit the ice. If it were spinning rapidly while in mid air, and then hit a rough patch on the ice, some have suggested it would then veer off to the side in the direction it was spinning. But how rough would this patch have to be?
Whether the mystery has a simple explanation or not, it is certainly incredible to look at and definitely one of the strangest things to happen in hockey in some time.