Troy Brouwer, come on down. You were the last Capitals offseason addition to make your preseason debut.
Brouwer, recuperating from offseason shoulder surgery, made his Caps preseason debut Monday, easing back into playing shape.
“It’s always tough when you play the first game in four or five months coming off an injury, coming into a new team,” Brouwer said. “That’s why I wanted to get into a couple exhibition games here – just kind of get settled. You lose your timing of game speed and kind of your hockey sense a little bit when you’re off for that long.
“For me, I thought I did OK last night. There’s a lot of my game that I think I could improve on: being in the right spot at the right time and hitting those holes like you do in mid-season form.”
Brouwer had an assist in his 16:29 of ice time skating on the top line with Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom.
And while coach Bruce Boudreau liked what he saw out of Brouwer as the first-line right wing, he acknowledged it might take the ex-Blackhawks forward some time to get to 100 percent.
“He’ll be the first to tell you his timing wasn’t what he would like it to be,” Boudreau said. “But that’s what these games are for, is to get your timing.”
But that timing isn’t just intrinsic. Brouwer had the challenge of figuring out Ovechkin and Backstrom in short order.
“I kind of got to come in, figure out how they play and try to play with them all at the same time,” Brouwer said. “I felt good as far as body wise, energy wise. I just need to be in the right spot at the right time a little bit quicker.”
Ovechkin agreed that more time is needed to develop chemistry.
“It was our first game,” he said. “We just skate a couple times, me and Brouwer. I think we create some chances. It was our first game and we need some time to feel each other more better. We have week and a half to go.”