King Benny took the hockey world by storm last night when he hit the ice during the intermission of the Vegas Golden Knights game. It’s exciting to see a good boy make his way on to the ice for once. We’ve seen Air Bud dominate the basketball court, football field, and baseball diamond (I still have no idea what was going on in that little league. Teams just allowed Air Bud to bunt all over their asses. It never once occurred to a coach to pull his corner infielders in and force Bud to swing the bat. Baffling.)
You hear all the time from players that it’s so hard to get in the big leagues, but the hardest part is staying in the big leagues. Based on what he showed me last night, Benny has his work cut out for him if he wants to stick around on a very deep Vegas roster.
Benny really disappointed me here. He’s holding his stick like he just stole a milkbone from the cabinet. Blade in the air, facing down, with his only grip about a third of the way down the shaft. You think Max Pacioretty or William Karlsson are going to send a pass over on a 2 on 1 with that form? An easy fix for sure, but one Benny has to straighten out fast.
Honestly, it’s a bit of a disaster here for Benny. There’s zero lateral push in his stride. All his momentum is North/South like he’s digging up that bone he buried in the side yard when he was a puppy. He’ll be less serviceable than a pylon with a stride like that.
His edgework is atrocious. Benny is going to find himself chasing a lot of pucks in his own end if he can’t shift from his inside to outside edges. Good luck keeping up with Connor McDavid or Brad Marchand while your ankles are firmly locked into the train tracks. If Benny doesn’t want to be looking around on the bench like defensive liability Ryan Gosling in Remember the Titans, he’s going to need to hire a new skating coach (I’m available Benny. Have your people contact my people).
A positive! Benny’s top end speed is rather competitive. Once those legs get cooking he’s going to be tough to catch. As we know, the NHL is as fast as it’s ever been, so Benny’s top end speed should give him a longer leash with the big club.
Here’s where the bark meets the bite though, it takes Benny about a thousand strides to reach his top end speed. He has the explosiveness of a sloth on Nyquil. They say a player’s first three strides are his most important. Right now I’m not sure Benny moves more than 6 inches in those strides.
You’ve got to hand it to him, that boy loves the great sport of hockey. Benny’s tail is whipping a mile per minute. He’s got a smile the size of some sad sack hitting his life savings on black at the roulette table next door. His coaches will love him for that, and I think it will carry him to a bowl full of kibble out of Lord Stanley’s Cup one day.
Benny is raw. Some time in the minors will suit him well. Learn the game from some journeymen down in the A. Let Benny make his mistakes and grow into that skinny frame of his and he’ll be burying pucks for the Knights in no time.
14/10 would pet, btw.
Follow me on Twitter @T_Ry25_
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