Brett Leonhardt of the Washington Capitals discusses how they gain a competitive edge against the world’s best through solutions that support their data analysis needs.

“The number one thing in our job,” Leonhardt says, “is to make our assistant coach and head coach’s job as easy as possible.”

Making life easy in the NHL, when the stakes are at their highest, is no small task. Every week teams process massive amounts of data and video as efficiently as possible in order to win.

“We’re in a high pressure business.”

Throughout the 82 game season, the data piles up. Sifting through it to discover game-changing tendencies is what propels the Capitals to fight for a top spot in the Eastern Conference.

“We’re marking so much data during the game. [The question now is] how can we now take that information to identify trends over the course of not only in-game, but over the course of maybe five-game or ten-game segments.”

Leonhardt analyzes hundreds of games every season between Capitals’ games and scout games for every opponent. There is no sacrifice between efficiency or effectiveness. Leonhardt is methodical and detail oriented to keep his organization one step ahead.

Leveraging Leonhardt’s analysis is imperative to the Capitals. 

“We’re always looking to how we can take what we mark, look for negative and positive trends and put that into some type of report where we can come up with better line combinations based on that data from previous games.”

Using data and analytics is commonplace across the NHL. That means Leonhardt is pulling data from every corner of the league, often times combining analytics from third party programs or data analytics software.

“Hudl has been great about allowing us to use our analytic data from outside parties, to ingest it into the software to not only get the data but to pump out video based on that. [Hudl] is finding ways to integrate other third parties that our organization uses at all levels and we can bring that back into the coaching room. Honestly, it’s remarkable.”

Obstacles such as integrating platforms, organizing information and maintaining clear communication with his head coach are common.

That’s never easy. You’ve got to have the computer, the software and then the terminology; the "lingo". I think [Hudl Sportscode] helps you regulate all that throughout an organization. Brett Leonhardt

Brett explains how he does that further with certain output reports and tagging features:

Having a central platform from which to operate has kept Leonhardt and his coaches on the same page. Hudl Sportscode’s 64-bit processing helps him script faster, communicate easier and integrate with his workflow with the demands of his job.

“It just makes everything more efficient for our coaching staff.”

The ease of use and smooth interface of Hudl Sportscode on the Apple platform has accelerated Leonhardt’s personal growth in addition to providing the organization with the intelligence required to compete with the world’s best.

“I’ve had no interest in even learning the other softwares because for me [Hudl Sportscode] has been a crucial and essential part of my growth.”

This season, Leonhardt has been named to an assistant coach position with the Capitals after six seasons as the video coach. 

When it comes to facing the challenges major data sets create, finding solutions that bridge the gap between objective and subjective layers of analysis are required to unlock the full potential of event and player tracking data.

To learn more on how Hudl can help you achieve your goals and elevate your organization, visit our Ice Hockey page.

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