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“Heavy” Becoming Vegas’ New Label

Throughout their series, the Blackhawks used the word ‘heavy’ 31 times to describe the Golden Knights in press conferences.

Blackhawks captain Jonathon Toews uses “heavy” to describe two things. Vegas’ size, and their ability to hold the puck once they possess it. It’s no secret, the Golden Knights are big and most of their players are hard to bump off the puck. Which was apparent right from the start of the series.

Mark Stone is 6’4″, 219 pounds but also has the puck super glued on his stick. Alex Tuch is 6’4″ as well, and his skill, speed, and size make it difficult for a defender to strip the puck. Max Pacioretty is 6’2, with the lethal combination of power and a rocket shot. These are examples of being a heavy team, and playing like one.

They play a different game then the Oilers. They’re a very structured, simple team. They play a heavy game. You got to tip your hat sometimes, they play well as a squad. -Calvin de Haan, CHI Defenseman

Blackhawks defenseman Calvin de Haan used the word to describe differences between the Golden Knights and a faster, skill-based team like the Edmonton Oilers. Edmonton has Connor McDavid, but what they didn’t have was the team structure and physicality Vegas has. The Golden Knights get scoring from multiple players, not just two, they defend, and rarely veer from their gameplan.

We know they’re an excellent team. They’re a heavy team, they get on the forcheck and try and hold you down… We gave them some easy ones, easy chances. They score 3-1 and during that stretch we just weren’t very good.-Jeremy Colliton, CHI coach

Chicago coach Jeremy Colliton called the Golden Knights a heavy team after three of the five games. Again, it wasn’t just their size, it was Vegas’ forecheck. When the Golden Knights push the puck with pressure they make teams feel like they’re being weighed down. All twelve forwards have that ability allowing Vegas the fortune to use all four lines.

Then there’s the natural use of the word.

Ryan Reaves is the quintessential definition of a heavy player. His size and physical nature makes him an immediate problem for opponents. His thunderous forecheck becomes even more powerful when matched up on the same line with William Carrier. Brayden McNabb could be considered a heavy player, although his defensive ability is what you think of first. McNabb and fellow d-man Nick Holden are both 6’4, and each skate with a little bit of nastiness to them.

While the word ‘heavy’ is used substantially, it’s really a more in-depth way to describe the Golden Knights as a team.  I’ll let Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith explain, who perfectly did so without using the code word.

The changes over the past three years positioned the Golden Knights for a deep playoff team. Was it the size they added, or the style of players they acquired? We’ll have to wait and see.


VGK vs CHI Series Stat Dump

Next Podcast #205: On To Round Two (Part I)


  1. Doktor Hockey

    Some of the Knights only used about half their weight, it seems. Especially around the net in the D end.

  2. To read the post you would think they are unstoppable which of course is not the case. They may have the size and ability but often their attitude doesn’t measure up to what they are capable of, when it does measure up they are fast, defend well, screen well and they are all over the opposition like flies on (you know what). More often than not they allowed Chicago free rein and the defense didn’t take the time or initiative to nail the opposition to the boards. Yes they eliminated Chicago but they are going to have to kick it up a notch or two to handle the next round. As things go on, assuming they continue ( sure hope they do) a winning attitude is going to become even essential. No vacation on the ice hard work each and every shift. Heavy is an interesting term only if they apply it 100% of the time and adopt the attitude to go with it.

    • Doktor Hockey

      Yea, they just did not clear the front of the net on D hardly at all. For whatever reason the series was not physical at all. We know, they know this will not cut it against any of the remaining teams. I think they will play “heavy” the rest of the way. They HAVE to.

  3. the hockey God

    he road is long
    With many a winding turn
    That leads us to who knows where
    Who knows where
    But I’m strong
    Strong enough to carry him
    He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother
    So on we go
    His welfare is of my concern
    No burden is he to bear
    We’ll get there
    For I know
    He would not encumber me
    He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother
    If I’m laden at all
    I’m laden with sadness
    That everyone’s heart
    Isn’t filled with the gladness
    Of love for one another
    It’s a long, long road
    From which there is no return
    While we’re on the way to there
    Why not share
    And the load
    Doesn’t weigh me down at all
    He ain’t heavy he’s my brother
    He’s my brother
    He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother, he ain’t heavy

  4. VGK Fan

    Definitely the most disappointing podcast I’ve heard. I listen to every one religiously, I actually had to shut it off. Of course it’s not the same Ken, it’s not the same for every fan base. Does that change how much I want them to win? Absolutely not!! The one bright light in this garbage pandemic is watching my knights play and all I hear from you two is how the team isn’t good enough, they made bad moves at the deadline…goalie controversy…you two are the most negative I’ve ever heard since you started. You talk how you don’t like Pete’s new “boring style” yet you never give him credit for how smart he really is. I loved Gallant too, it took me time to warm up to Pete but he is an extremely intelligent guy who has serious attention to detail. How about some positives about the team rather than talking about how disappointing they are. Not sure what coach said this but he said “you only need to play well enough to win the game”. I think they proved that and came out healthy. Yotes basically rolled over the last two games yet you give them all the credit for how they played. How about you save your judging of how inadequate this team is if we lose. Reality is, they are a legitimate Stanley Cup contender. It’s hockey, teams have good games and bad, more disparity in this sport then any other sport. They are deep, fast, heavy with 2 outstanding goalies not to mention a very intelligent coach that doesn’t wait around to adjust in games when he sees something.

    • Doktor Hockey

      Again I have to agree. I have mentioned many times over past year plus, just how negative Ken and this site are. It’s a shame. He’ll say whatever he wants to try and drive hits and comments on this site. His negative usually works to bring out the “minions” . A lot of Ken’s negativity is because he STILL just doesn’t understand hockey and all it entails! Shame

  5. sb

    Year 1 Team was incredible. Played way over their heads for many good reasons. That Team was very, very special. Tenacious! Year 2 Team spent a lot of time trying to find its identity/composition after so many player changes. But ……… really could have won the Cup last year. Really. Year 3 Team is very talented, has set lines and knows its roles. The knock ……. like many great Teams, they play the first 40 minutes to the level of the opponents. They cruise for 40 minutes and then storm the third period. Sometimes you get away with it, sometimes not. Herein lies the difference between the truly great Teams. Detroit of 1950-55, Montreal of the 60’s and 70’s, the Islander and Oiler dynasties. Unique Teams because they played hard for all 60 minutes. The Knights aren’t like this.

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