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VGK’s Heaviness Contributing To 2-0 Series Lead

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

We heard it way back after the 2017-18 Stanley Cup finals, the Golden Knights needed to get bigger and stronger. Or in hockey lexicon, Vegas needed to get heavier. So, they did.

They traded for Ryan Reaves (6’2″, 225) around the 2018 deadline, completed a late offseason deal for Max Pacioretty (6’2″, 217), and they traded and signed Mark Stone (6’3″, 217) minutes before the 2019 trade deadline expired. So, the organization did what they said they, get heavier. And it didn’t stop there.

Size matters, especially at this time of year. They lean on you all night and they wear teams down because they lean on you. It’s impressive because there are times when they get a lead where they’re not trying to score. They’re controlling the territory of the game, and you don’t get any second chances. Every puck is confronted in your own zone and there’s no free ice anywhere. There’s got to be tactic changes when you play that team because of their weight and size. It’s fun to watch that team play that type of playoff hockey. – Ken Hitchcock, former NHL coach on Bob McCown Podcast

Over the years Vegas introduced Nic Hague (6’6″, 230) to their lineup, took a chance on monster goaltender Adin Hill (6’6″, 215), picked up Nick Holden (6’4″, 210), added depth with Ben Hutton (6’3″, 201), brought in Nic Roy (6’4″, 202), signed a mega-deal with Alex Pietrangelo (6’3″, 215), and are currently starting large Logan Thompson (6’4″, 205) in net. Easy to say, the Golden Knights set out to be heavy, and they were rewarded with a Stanley Cup trophy last year.

Up 2-0 in their seven-game series with Dallas, Vegas is up to their old tricks. The Golden Knights are leading the opening round by defending, frustrating, and suffocating the Stars, who are the second heaviest team in the NHL. However, they haven’t been able to clear Vegas from in front of the net or win board battles in either zone. It’s been the Golden Knights that are successfully using their size, just like they did all last season.

Top 5 Heaviest NHL Playoff Teams (Average height and weight)

  1. VGK: 6’2, 210
  2. DAL: 6’2, 207
  3. NYI: 6’2, 205
  4. NYR: 6’2, 204
  5. WPG: 6’2, 202

At this season’s deadline the Golden Knights once again added high-level skill with enormous size. Additions Anthony Mantha (6’5″, 234), Noah Hanifin (6’3″, 207) and Tomas Hertl (6’3″, 215) all fit Vegas’ blueprint and are currently contributing through two playoff games. In fact, the reigning Stanely Cup champions were the heaviest team last season and are again this year. Heck, if it worked before so why not attack the playoffs the same way in 2024.

They’re the best team at controlling the blue lines. Whoever controls the blue line is the winner in the NHL playoffs. If you’re great at getting it out and you’re great at getting it in, you’re going to have a lot of success. Vegas has no problem in not trying to force the puck in the offensive blue line. They control the territory part of the game. They look more than comfortable. You look at the way Vegas confronts pucks in both net fronts and it’s impressive. They hold position and I think that’s been the small difference in these first two games. –Hitchcock on Bob McCown Podcast

Obviously, the Golden Knights would prefer to sweep the Stars and rest up for a potentially grueling second round series against the Colorado Avalanche or Winnipeg Jets. However, this is the postseason, and teams can rip away or steal momentum with one win. Leaning on, frustrating, and wearing down opponents is critical to ensure a chance at securing a playoff victory or advancing to the next round. Unsurprisingly, that’s when Vegas is most confident.

Unfortunately for Dallas, size doesn’t matter if you don’t use it.

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15 Comments

  1. A nice advantage for VGK tonight is the late scheduled time start, which could easily be pushed back to 7:50 puck drop which is a later time slot than the stars are accustomed to!

  2. Jason – Dallas is using their size and bounced Vegas around pretty good last game particularly. There is more to playoff hockey than just size which I am sure you realize or should if you are going to post articles like you do. Yes, size is important but that alone will not guarantee a win. Desire and attitude are much more important in the end – “if you think you can win you have a greater chance at doing so versus the other” Here’s to win tonight game #3.

    • PJT

      Dallas was very physical in Game 2 first period for sure. But by the middle of the 2nd period and most of the third, they were exhausted. You can’t sustain sprinting and hitting the opponent all the time. Especially against a physically big and heavy team as the VGK was. Hitting as a stat is only good if your puck possession stat is equally good. If you are constantly hitting, it means you don’t have the puck most of the time.
      Dallas used all it’s physical prowess against VGK last year at the WCF after trailing 3-0. They came at us with everything they had and managed to win 2 games bringing the series to 3-2. Game 6 in Dallas you could tell they were half dead or badly injured and we wiped them out easily 6-0 to clinch the WCF championship.

      Tonight they will give it all they got physically. VGK needs to combat that mentally and use what we learnt in the past to tame them.

      GKG!

  3. PJT

    This was the exact same formula that led LA Kings to win the Stanley Cup twice (2011 and 2013). They out hit and out muscled all the other teams. They had a captain Dustin Brown who was a hitting machine, a coked up center Jarett Stoll who destroys faceoffs, shot blocking monster Alec Martinez and Mr. Game 7 Justin WIlliams who has this knack of scoring the GWG in game 7s. The idea is that the bigger and heavier you are ( and u need to be fast too), the stronger you are on the puck, able to outmuscle the opponent when battling for the puck and get less injured with time. Great hand eye coordination is a must have too. Throw in natural talent, a dash of smelling salts/cocaine, you got yourself a championship team 🙂
    GKG!

    • TS

      PJT, just a rookie question, but what ARE smelling salts made of, anyway?

      • PJT

        Ammonium Carbonate ((NH4)2CO3)
        When exposed to air, it releases ammonia NH3 basically
        It smells terrible but that is their purpose to wake you up.
        It reacts with the membranes lining in our nose and throat and forces an inhalation reflex that basically ends up boosting your Oxygen intake and may cause you to hyperventilate a bit. The upshot is that it wakes you up real fast and knocks the groginess or brain fog from you and you feel more alert and conscious.

        • ThG

          sounds like some posters here could use this to get rid of their permanent brain fog

          ROFLMAO !!

  4. ThG

    another jinx article by so called “local” press

  5. knights fan in minny

    come on puck drop

  6. ll jenkins

    Jason~Adin Hill is 6’4..just a typo right??? hmmm

  7. Jack Hammer

    Jack Hammer is pumped for the game!!

    • knights fan in minny

      nobody cares that you are whack job

      • JB

        Hey minny, you guys one or two hours ahead of Vegas? Late start there huh?

        • knights fan in minny

          correct i hope it starts on time i took a 2 hour snooze today so i dont fall asleep in the 3rd period

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