People keep saying Brunner needs defence blah blah blah. He was not brought in to be a two way forward like Datsyuk, we have enough of those, he was brought in to be a straight up scorer, and that is what babs expects from him. Sure he could work on his defensive game a bit too, but he is still better defensively than Franzen, and works his tail off night in and night out, and thats all I want is for him to work hard and put some pucks in the net. So far so good.
He needs to be better, especially when you consider how many games go into OT which, at 4 on 4, puts much more importance on defensive responsibility. On Leddy's OT goal, Brunner looked only slightly better than Lion's kicker Janson Hanson trying to tackle Devon Hester as the last defender on a kick return.
Yes, Brunner's head was on a swivel, and was aware of Leddy trailing the play, but then didn't seem to know what to do. He let himself be drawn towards the puck carrier (Toews) even though Kronner was already marking him. That took him out of position to make any real play on the trailer Leddy and badda bing badda boom, game over. I don't want to sound arrogant, but let's face it, that's just basic defense.
I like that I see him hustling and working hard, but at the same time, there is a lot of room for impovement. I've yet to see him put his head down and sprint all out on a back check, a la Marian Hossa.