Well, gang, that was a pretty wild game, but I'm sure I'll forget half of it because, well, Brusty was in net and that kinda gives me amnesia about everything else that happened.
I'm just gonna go random-style hitting the high/lowlights for me. I watched the whole game from the corners, by Brusty's net (because as usual, who knows how long we've got him? Must soak it all in. And also, press row was one seat short... or possibly had one scout too many and I figured I'd "sacrifice" and let John and Andrew have the seats... haha).
But that means I didn't see any of the goals for except on replay and had a pretty distorted perspective of most of the offensive play.
I do know that Falk getting a goal was kind of a big deal, right? And in fact, I thought he had quite a good game defensively as well, as did most of the rest of the team. It seemed like most of the failed efforts were happening in the neutral zone, but the boys were great around their own net, as Brusty's near-shutout can attest.
Not to say Brusty didn't play an incredible game, particularly through such challenging circumstances as, well, a giant gash in his leg from a skate.
He got cut with about 5 minutes left in the first period, and was clearly injured. I could tell it was something around the knee, but he kept looking at the outside of his knee and normally if you do something internally to your knee, you don't need to keep making visual inspections. So I wondered if he might have gotten sliced.
Now, think about the mental focus required to play knowing your leg has a big, bleeding gash in it. Not that he had a choice, considering his back-up (no offense, Mr. Crawford) and frankly, Brusty has something to prove with every game he plays in the AHL. I think he proved it tonight.
Though I gotta tell ya, I've never quite been quite as "OMG" as when I walked out of the visitor's tunnel tonight at the start of the second to see back-up goalie Jeff Crawford skating around the net... or quite so relieved to see Brusty finally skating toward the net (amid quite a buzz in the crowd).
I was really just like, "What now?" And actually even started thinking about what other goalies I knew were in the building for the Houston Hockey Series game and whoever else might be there. Weird.
I saw Crawford outside the locker room after the game and really wanted to stop him and say, "Man, you lived so many beer league goalie dreams tonight." I think he knows it though. Just to even open the gate for an AHL team, much less get out there in front of the net for the start of a period and almost get to play? Amazing.
KC made it sound like the plan is to get a local guy to back up again when they head to Milwaukee this weekend, rather than calling up someone the team knows, like Brett Jaeger in CHL Texas. Not sure I agree with that call given the extent of Brusty's cut (30 stitches! OMG!). I know Brusty's in a situation where he really would have to probably have his leg cut off completely before he'd leave a game, but still. Having someone who COULD play a reasonably good pro game sounds better than beer league goalies.
Also, I wanna give props to Danny Irmen for being in on 3 of the prettiest goals of the season. He had another one tonight. His role in them isn't always super pretty, but he's right there with them on the pretty plays, setting up, going hard to the net. Great stuff!
It was tough to watch that Gillies hit and ensuing human damage up close tonight. Apparently Gillies was hurt on the play, too, but he'll have plenty of time to heal up while he serves whatever suspension the league hands down.
It looked like the guy he hit is going to be okay, but it's always terrifying to see a player in a motionless heap on the ice like he was. Poor EMT was eating his dinner, too. Somewhere some french fries go wasted.
Okay, I've gotten about 6 hours of sleep in the last 48 hours. I'm gonna go play dead for a few hours.