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Ryerson Rams player Mitch Gallant demonstrates a slapshot at the Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto, Tuesday, February 2, 2016.Mark Blinch/The Canadian Press

All anyone wants to know from Alain Hache is how they can improve their slapshot.

The physics professor is the author of two books on the science of hockey, how real-world physics affect Canada's most popular sport all the way up to the NHL playoffs. More often than not, that means telling people how to improve their games.

"There's a lot of questions about shooting, a lot of questions about sticks," said Hache from his office at the Universite de Moncton. "A lot of players are faced with the dilemma of going to the store and what kind of stick to pick.

"Do you want a strong flex, a weak flex, a really curved blade, a toe curve, a heel curve, there's a lot of different aspects. That's a common question."

Hache has extensively researched the physics of hockey in his most recent book, aptly named "Slapshot Science," and devotes an entire chapter to the inner workings of a shot.

Although most hockey players already know that flex quantifies the stiffness in a stick, Hache's book explains why that happens. He also explains how a stick's flex number, the amount of pressure it takes to bend the stick one inch over a one metre span, can be raised by cutting a stick shorter.

But what Hache's readers may learn is that they should choose a stick with as low a flex number as possible for better wrist shots, but to remember that the more a shaft bends, the harder it becomes to be accurate.

Accuracy is another myth that Hache busts in his book.

"We don't realize this, but shooters aren't actually that accurate," said Hache. "Even the best snipers in the NHL. If you look at the skills competition where they have four targets on all four corners of the net, they're about one foot in diameter and about 12 feet away.

"Many times they need several shots to hit one target. So if (a goalie) has a small opening to the net and the puck goes in, you think 'OK, that's a great shot,' but there's an element of chance too."

Hache, who wrote "The Physics of Hockey" in 2002, has become a resource for amateur and pro hockey players alike. The Ottawa Senators even reached out to him after a prank at their annual skills competition backfired.

Then Senators defenceman Jared Cowen's slapshot hit 110.5 miles per hour in 2014, nearly two miles per hour faster than Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara's record-setting blast. But unbeknownst to Cowen, his teammates had switched out a standard-issue rubber puck for a foam toy.

"For a while he thought he was the all-time leader," said Hache. "They were surprised that a foam puck could travel so fast because it was so light it would just flutter in the air, so I explained from a physics point of view why a puck that light could travel so fast."

The key in that case was where the radar gun was set up.

Cowen's foam puck would've lost at least 10 miles per hour thanks to air drag before it hit the net. But because the radar was trained on a spot early in the puck's trajectory, the force of his shot was at its maximum effect before air friction could slow it down. A regular rubber puck would be too heavy for the air to have any tangible effect.