I'm not gonna make any bones about wearing my reporter hat here. I'm just a huge fan of Brusty's and seeing him play all of about 4 times in the last 10 months has really sucked.
I know it's sucked for him. It's just godawful being injured and worse having to sit on the sidelines while your team makes an epic playoff run. And then getting re-injured. Twice. Augh.
But it also sucked for those of us who love to watch him play. His aggressive style is shared by few other goalies at the elite levels of the game, so when one comes along who can play that way and be successful at it, AND they play for your team, you have to savor every heart-stopping moment of it.
Tonight,though, Brusty was back and in fine form 5000* miles away in Southern Florida for the Everblades, and his performance met every expectation and exceeded others.
It was just a balls out game, from the time he shoved his first screen in the back to move him out of his way, all the way to the monster diving poke check and slick glove save to win the shootout.
I'll be really candid here and say that I actually got a little choked up on that poke. You just knew at that point that he had this shootout in hand and they were going to win it. I mean, he dove to the ice and poked that thing clear to center ice. It was some seriously gutsy goaltending. And with a big fist pump, the Blades skated off with a 4-3 win.
First two goals against were scored 5 on 3 as the Blades were having some discipline problems. There was even a third 5 on 3 but it was shorter and they held them off that time. Hopefully if he's in net tomorrow, they'll play a little tighter game and he won't have to turn away 34 shots like he did tonight.
But... if you're sending a guy off to test his foot, knock the rust off, and get back into game shape, I guess nothing is better than trial by fire. En fuego, bitches!
Brusty said after that the foot felt "great" so that's excellent news, and may that continue to be the case.
Of course, this is all well and good for the Everblades fans. Selfishly, of course, I'd rather this be happening here in Houston. But clearly, the Aeros have one too many goalies, so who knows how it will all shake out. I would make some predictions but they'd just be wrong.
I'll add links to local media coverage here when it's available, and a little bird told me we may even have some photos coming. Actually, I might put all that follow-up stuff in a new post. Check back!
For now, here's some fantastic quotes in the Naples News write-up. Says he felt awkward, but it didn't come across watching.
Oh yeah, the Aeros won something like 32-0 against Lake Erie tonight. More on that later. Helluva night of hockey, gang.
* Real Feel Miles, not actual miles