Tough guy Myhres can't break into Preds' lineup

Wednesday, January 3, 2001 at 1:00am

Brantt Myhres will always have Vancouver. Well, at least one more time, that is.

The Nashville Predators� tough guy has had trouble breaking into the lineup this season, but he ought to at least be able to circle next Monday on his calendar. That�s when the Predators conclude their four-game season series with the Canucks at Vancouver.

Myhres has appeared in all three Nashville-Vancouver contests thus far, including Monday�s 5-2 defeat for the Predators. In fact, his first appearance for Nashville was Oct. 24 in a 4-4 tie with the Canucks.

Of the other 37 games, he has played fewer than half (17).

�It�s been tough, but Brantt has done a really good job keeping himself prepared,� coach Barry Trotz said.

Even when Myhres, signed last offseason as a free agent, has played it has not been much. He logged just 2:05 of ice time Monday, the fourth straight appearance in which he has played fewer than three minutes. His busiest game was Nov. 18 against Detroit when he was on for all of 6:21.

Obviously, that has not given the 6-foot-3, 220-pounder much time to engage in rough stuff. He does lead the team in fighting majors but with a mere four, one for every five games he has played. He has just one fight in his last six games.

�It�s like having a nuclear weapon ... it�s a deterrent,� Trotz said. �St. Louis tried to run over us with Reed Low, and that didn�t happen. And when we�ve played Vancouver, Donald Brashear has not been a factor. If both teams know the other has a weapon like that, neither one is going to use it as much.�

In the three games with Vancouver this season Brashear, one of the league�s most renowned tough guys, has no penalty minutes and two assists. In the previous two seasons he ran roughshod over Nashville to the tune of four goals, one assist and 20 penalty minutes in eight games.

BAD, BAD BEREHOWSKY: Defenseman Drake Berehowsky has run afoul of the referees in recent contests.

Of course, there was his match penalty and subsequent one-game suspension for an incident in overtime last Thursday against Anaheim, but he has racked up 20 penalty minutes in all in his last three appearances, which accounts for more than a third of his team-leading total of 59.

Against Vancouver, the first penalty of the contest was whistled against him for charging at 5:51 of the first period. He did not agree with that call or several of the others against him recently.

�I can�t understand some of the things these guys are calling,� he said. �Maybe this is a non-contact sport and we�re just not allowed to hit anybody.�

PROSPECT WATCH: University of New Hampshire junior Darren Haydar, Nashville�s last pick in the most recent Entry Draft, has been named Hockey East player of the week three times this season. With 26 points (11 goals, 15 assists), he is second in the league in scoring.

BRIEFLY: With his second-period goal, right wing Scott Walker extended his current scoring streak to a season-high five games. He has five goals and two assists over that span. ... For the second time in as many games at Gaylord Entertainment Center play was halted when a pane of glass behind a goal shattered. This time there was a delay of seven minutes when a Berehowsky slapshot sailed wide right and broke the glass with 4:58 to play in the second period.

- David Boclair

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