So, i've been pondering for some time what exactly makes a shot "heavy". I'm not talking about shot speed. I think we can all remember with fondness Byfuglien's shot, which while not extraordinarly fast or hard, was often described as "heavy". It would make a certain noise when it hit the goalies' pads...that "thud" that few shots make.
After watching the Hogs a few times this season, I've come to the conclusion that Kyle Beach has a heavy shot. Aside from an elite release, his shot just sounds different when it hits the pads (though not quite like Byfuglien's sound). It certainly is a fast shot, but again I think that's different than what I'm trying to describe.
Speed seems to be an easy thing to measure nowadays, with radar. But the heaviness of a shot...what makes that? Is it maybe that the puck follows less of a curved flight through the air, or that it loses less of its velocity than other shots might after it's left the stick, or perhaps that the puck spins more than a typical shot. All of these things could be measured by high speed video, with puck spin measurable perhaps by painting a line on the side and counting revolutions per second.
Has anyone else noticed this, and are there any other ideas as to why this phenomenon exists?
Heavy shots are hard and easier to track. However, having a heavy shot or a cannon from a guy like Shea Weber isn't always preferred. When you have a big body presence parked in the blue paint, not having a defenseman or forward at the point position with a cannon or heavy shot isn't the end of the world. Brian Rafalski partially made a living off his "soft" shot. This was a shot that was very tip-able for some of the experienced Devils forwards and guys like Johan Franzen and Thomas Holmstrom once he moved on to Detroit.