A screen shot of Orono-based Double Blue Sports Analytics' app being used on the NHL Network during the Stanley Cup finals .

Screenshot of Double Blue Sports Analytics’ app being used on the NHL Network during the Stanley Cup finals game between the New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings on June 4, 2014.

 

If you’ve watched any of the NHL Network’s pre- or post-game coverage during the first two games of the Stanley Cup finals, chances are you’ve watched the commentators use technology developed in Orono to analyze the performance of the two starting goalies. You and a couple million other people.

Double Blue Sports Analytics, an Orono-based startup I wrote about last month, scored a coup last week when the NHL Network reached out two days before the start of the Stanley Cup finals to ask if it could utilize the company’s technology, which collects performance data for hockey goalies, to help its commentators offer viewers more value during its television coverage of the series.

Above is a screenshot from the NHL Network coverage of the series’ first game on Weds., June 4, showing the location of every goal scored against Henrik Lundqvist, the New York Rangers’ starting goalie, during the preceding season. Double Blue’s logo is that blue goalie just to the right of Henrik’s name.

The New York Rangers and the Los Angeles Kings play the third game in the series on Monday night.

Two other networks have already reached out to Double Blue to use its technology, including the Canadian channel, The Sports Network, which is expected to utilize the company’s technology in tonight’s game, according to Dan Kerluke,  Double Blue’s CEO.

Kerluke, a former University of Maine hockey coach, launched the company with plans for a tablet-based app that would be marketed to hockey goalies and goalie coaches, from the majors to youth leagues, to help improve their performance. He never thought about the potential of licensing the technology to TV stations to improve coverage of big games. But he is now.

It’s “very exciting and an avenue we had not thought about,” he said.

Unfortunately, the NHL Network is not currently paying Double Blue for the use of its technology, but Kerluke said the exposure the company is receiving is worth it.

“It’s pro bono at this point, but we’re doing a really good job, so we’ll definitely have talks next season,” Kerluke said Monday. “It’s a great audition for us and presents other opportunities with broadcasting companies. … Four million people are watching these pre-and post-game coverage. We couldn’t ask for anything more.”

It’s unclear exactly how many people are watching the pre- and post-game coverage on the NHL Network. Kerluke said his 4 million figure is an estimated guess. Regardless of the number, he expects the exposure to help his company grow.

The company has four full-time employees and raised nearly $250,000 in startup capital.