Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Lowell 3, Hartford 2, shouting "Brendl sucks" 29

Secret Agent Inspector Rock Bernd Bruckler

I didn't know a thing about goalie Bernd Bruckler before tonight's game, only that the Wolf Pack had just signed him to a PTO earlier in the week, when Kevin Weekes got injured in New York and Al Montoya went to the Rangers to take his place. Bruckler is an Austrian who spent a year in the USHL (American juniors) before playing 4 years with the University of Wisconsin, and he looked really sharp tonight, despite coming out on the losing end of things against Lowell, 3-2. Bruckler looked very quick and agile, and seemed equally adept at stopping shots with either his stick or his glove, either when standing up or while down on the ice. Maybe it'll be Chris Holt (who can't stop any shot above his waist, it seems) who will be sent away when Montoya comes back, but I doubt it. Hopefully they at least find room for Bruckler in Charlotte.

The Wolf Pack took a 2-0 lead in the first period on a neat short-handed goal (set up by Jarkko Immonen) off a wicked wrist shot by Daniel Sparre, and then a goal by Immonen as he stood just outside the goal crease, flipping the puck up and over Vitaly Kolesnik (the Lock Monster goalie) from point-blank range.

Fedor Fedorov got a ton of ice time, even late in the game on the penalty kill, and assisted on Immonen's goal to earn the 3rd star of the game, while Bruckler was rewarded with the 2nd star (the official score sheet gives the 2nd star to Boychuk, though. Whatever, it hardly matters).

Whaddya mean, I'm not in shape?-- round is a shape Pavel Brendl

If anyone is wondering where Pavel Brendl has ended up (and probably nobody is)-- well, he's playing for Lowell, after stinking it up in training camp for Carolina and blowing a chance at a million-dollar contract. Brendl, if you'll recall, was the Rangers' 1st round pick in '99 (the 4th player taken overall), and later went to Philadelphia in the Lindros trade. It was fun to boo Brendl for a while, whenever he came back to Hartford as a member of the Phantoms (the Flyers' AHL affiliate), but since then his career has gone downhill faster than Rosie O'Donnell on rollerskates, and heckling Brendl now is about the same as heckling the Special Olympics. Brendl ended up bouncing around from one "B"-league European team to another (4 or 5 in all, I think) during the lockout last year, even flunking at least one physical along the way.

"Red and Black Hockey" had this appraisal of Brendl's effort during training camp:

Brendl is absolutely HORRIBLE. I focused on him for a little while, and I watched him hanging out by the Florida blue line, while Florida was down in our end having an unofficial powerplay. I'm not kidding. He was just STANDING there, 100 feet away from the action. He did this on two different occasions. He's a bum. A total bum. Oodles of raw talent, but no drive. We've been overly patient with this guy, and he hasn't paid dividends. We need to relegate him to Lowell, or maybe even release him outright.

Well, he ended up in Lowell, where so far in two games he has a goal and an assist with an "even" plus/minus, which are not bad numbers. There must be a really good Krispy Kreme shop in Lowell, or something.


Blogger d-lee said...

Actually, I had already looked into that, and there isn't a KK in Lowell. There are two stores that are each about 20 miles from Lowell, so he'll have to get them on a much less frequent basis. And on a $35,000 salary, there's not that much money to spend on donughts anyway.

10/16/05, 10:04 PM

Blogger Brushback said...

Well, maybe if Brendl ever scores a hat trick in Lowell, the fans will help him out and throw doughnuts on the ice instead of hats.

Lowell has a defenseman named Jeff Finger, who had a couple of solid years with Hershey the past two seasons. It's just kinda funny to see a hockey jersey with the name "FINGER" on the back. Good thing he's not wearing the number 1.

I'd forgotten to mention that Bruckler stopped a penalty shot during Saturday's game-- I think the Lowell player who took the shot was Keith Aucoin. Bruckler came out of the net a bit, making Aucoin think that he could deke Bruckler and slip the puck behind him, but Bruckler was ready for the move and quickly stuck his right pad out behind him to make a nifty save.

Bruckler stood up very well, especially considering it was his first pro game.

10/16/05, 10:25 PM

Anonymous pricklypear said...

Ha! Rosie O'Donnell on rollerskates!

Bruckler did a great job on Saturday night. Funny, dear, but on another board I stated the same wish that they'd stick with Bruckler and send Holt to Chartlotte when Montoya returns.

Can somebody explain to me why Jake Taylor is worthy of the rotating "A"?

10/17/05, 12:18 PM

Blogger Brushback said...

"Funny, dear, but on another board I stated the same wish that they'd stick with Bruckler and send Holt to Chartlotte when Montoya returns."

Yeah, but I probably said it first. *nyaah, nyaah* Actually, the first person I heard say this aloud was Joker Tom, when he and I and Fighter Guy were talking during the game.

"Can somebody explain to me why Jake Taylor is worthy of the rotating 'A'?"

Well, Purinton wore the "A" that night too, and he hadn't spent a minute on the the ice for this team up 'til then, so I'm wondering how he merited wearing the "A", also. Not that I'm picking on Dale in this case, mind you. I just don't get this "one night only" thing that's going on with the "A", rotating them between players like it's nothing special.

I'll say again that I think Taylor will be much improved this year. I'd rather see Taylor on the ice than Grenier at this point.

I'm also figuring that Purinton will be spending the entire season with the Wolf Pack (unless another team shows interest in him and offers a trade), and you'll see him do some good things for this team by the end of the year-- mark my words.

10/17/05, 9:27 PM

Blogger Brushback said...


So much for my prediction that Purinton would be spending the entire season in Hartford-- today he was called up:

( "New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that goaltender Chris Holt has been reassigned to the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL) and defenseman Dale Purinton has been recalled from Hartford (AHL).

Purinton, who is serving a 10-game NHL supspension, will practice with the club until his suspension has been completely fulfilled. Rangers goaltender Kevin Weekes has been activated of the injured reserve list and will be in uniform for tonight's game vs. the New York Islanders at Madison Square Garden. Game time is set for 7:00 PM."

Also, Jamie Lundmark has been traded by the Rangers to Phoenix for Jeff Taffe, a forward who has spent part of three seasons in the AHL with Springfield and Utah.

10/19/05, 9:30 PM


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