Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Dear Binghamton Senators, Welcome to Brustytown

It's been unofficial for a week now, but today your Binghamton Senators announced they've agreed to a 1 year AHL deal with Barry Brust.

If you haven't been keeping up with your stash of goalies this summer, you have Mike Brodeur (no relation) as the likely starter, and Swedish prospect Robin Lehner, who put up respectable numbers in the OHL last season, slated to turn pro. So Brusty is, for now, probably #5 in the minds of the muckity mucks in the Sens organization, and unless Lehner really effs it up, he'll probably start in the ECHL with the Elmira Jackals.

Though depending on the organization's devotion to Lehner and whether he struggles some in the transition to the pros, I wouldn't be surprised at all to see Brusty come up and Lehner spend some time in Elmira much the way CHRIS HOLT! moved up and down last season.
I thought I'd provide a little scouting report on Brusty for B-Sens and Elmira fans out there wondering who this big goalie is and what his game is like if you don't remember him from his time in Manchester and Reading. But I won't even pretend to be objective; I gave up on that ages ago. Take it for the fangirl fawning that it is.

Brusty is my all time favorite goalie ever. And I really love goalies. So to be at the top of that heap is pretty special. But here's why I love the guy and why you will, too:

  1. He's got brass ones. He plays a very aggressive game, with lots of big poke checks, playing the puck, and defending his crease. I've seen him play through all manner of injuries, including a giant skate slice that required something like 30 stitches during intermission, and then came back out to finish the final 2 periods of the game. Hard core, bitches.
  2. He's big and athletic. His strengths lie in his size, his strong ability to read plays (hockey sense, yo), his quick reflexes, and his innate athleticism. I watch him play and sometimes think, "Um, hey, Brusty. Puck. Puck. Right there. Look alive." and then BOOM, he's on it. Which is to say, he's got a very calm demeanor, doesn't have any excessive movement in his game (other than the pad tapping), but when it's go-time, he gets the job done. So, even if his relaxed style bothers you at first, you'll come to trust it, I promise.
  3. He's entertaining, both on and off the ice. His game is keep-a-defibrillator-handy exciting, but he's also pretty funny off the ice. Plenty of good war stories and a great sense of humor. Reporters love him for providing good, sincere, non-cliched quotes. Fans love him for just being a swell, easy going guy. My favorite Aeros game broadcasts were back in the day when Brusty was out with some injury for a while and he'd provide color during the games. Check out the videos to the right for more funny Brusty goodness. 
  4. He makes teams better. I guess I've established that he's a good goalie already, but if you've never had a goalie who was a strong puck mover and could nail stretch passes to your defense or even forwards to help the breakout, you're not going to believe how useful and rare that skill is. He not only shuts things down defensively, but helps the offensive side of your team's game as well. 
  5. We must increase our Brust
    Photo by Chris Jerina
    He's clutch. Brusty has another level to his game when his back is against the wall. Playoffs, close games, shootouts, I have so often seen him step up and be just incredibly clutch under pressure. And the more teams try to get under his skin, the better and meaner he plays.
  6. He's foxy. He is. It matters! Foxy goalies are way funner than non-foxy goalies. Look at him! Gah. *big sigh*
  7. His glove. Brusty's glove hand is quick and nasty. Many times, I haven't even seen the shot go off before it's in his glove. I dunno what it is, but damn, a good, split second flash of the leather sends me into orbit. Wear your seatbelts.
  8. His PIM. He doesn't put up with any crap in his crease. He'll give a jab or a whack or whatever he needs to do to keep the pesky kids off his lawn. Sometimes this annoys players. :) And where most goalies will skate off by themselves when things get heated around the net, Brusty skates into the scrum and tries to help his teammates. He hasn't gotten into a fight as pro though, and if it happens up there, I'm gonna say right here and now that I hate you all.
Most of all, he's just a good guy who will do a good job for your team. I've talked him up a lot, but he's, of course, not perfect. Who is? Goaltenders will always have their good nights and bad nights, but in general, fortunate is the team that has Barry Brust between the pipes. Enjoy him while you've got him.


Steve  July 27, 2010 at 4:47 PM  

Very cool article. First time reader and visitor.

Only comment, Lehner's best two options are Binghamton or Sault Ste. Marie. I would keep him out of the ECHL.


Sunshine36616  July 27, 2010 at 5:20 PM  

Congrats to him! He sounds like a goalie I would like. I like the aggressive, puck handling, poke checkers!

Also, Mike IS actually related to Marty, but it's deep in the family tree. Mike said "Marty wouldn't be at his family reunions or anything."

Ms. Conduct  July 27, 2010 at 5:26 PM  

I would agree those are his two best options but once it's too late to send him back to juniors, if he struggles, it's not ideal but I could see them sending him down just to get him the shots. I don't think it would hurt him if that situation came along. It's tough for goalies in the Coast and he'd learn a lot.

Thanks for reading!

You'd luuuuuuv him, V. If he's with Elmira and they play Gwinnett, I'll let you know.

artandhockey  July 27, 2010 at 8:21 PM  

Very nice.. now he can play with Locke!

LadyByngsLoveChild  July 28, 2010 at 1:35 PM  

It sucks he's not coming to town! Sadly, I'm guessing that if Elmira isn't coming to Florida they won't be hitting Gwinnett. Worst thing in all of this is I can't find a Jackals fan blog. No vicarious Brusty lovin'.

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