- Obama admin to blame for HealthCare.gov woes, $840M cost: GAO
- Al Gore’s climate-changers at EPA hearings foiled by cool temperatures
- Army’s 3-D printed bombs will create ‘a whole new universe’ of deadly capabilities
- Hamas calls on Hezbollah to join in fight against Israel
- Senators to FIFA, others: Don’t reward Putin with the World Cup in 2018
- U.S. condemns Israeli shelling of shelter in Gaza
- Obamacare shoots premiums up by 88 percent in California
- Chicken pox outbreak puts illegal immigrant facility on lockdown
- Obama to Republicans: ‘Stop just hatin’ all the time’
- U.S. chemical sites vulnerable despite millions spent on security: Congress
Brouwer passes screen test by creating traffic
Question of the Day
Troy Brouwer would like to score goals. He really would.
Playing on the Washington Capitals’ top line with left wing Alex Ovechkin and center Nicklas Backstrom, the big right wing said last week his production level was “a little unacceptable.” A goal and an assist later, Brouwer still has just three points in seven games.
But it doesn’t seem so unacceptable anymore. That’s because Brouwer is fulfilling a major role for the Capitals by being the man to set screens in front of the net.
“As long as someone’s scoring, it doesn’t matter. Everyone on the ice should be trying to do the same thing, which is score a goal,” Brouwer said. “For me, because you’re standing in front of the net, you don’t get as many touches on passes and stuff like that, unless you’re going to get loose pucks and tip pucks in front.”
Saturday night provided two perfect examples of how Brouwer contributed to the offense without winding up on the score sheet. On both of defenseman Mike Green’s power-play goals, Brouwer’s screen made it impossible for Detroit Red Wings goalie Ty Conklin to see.
“That’s his spot. He’s good at it,” coach Bruce Boudreau said. “I think he’s found a home.”
On the power play especially, Washington has made a habit out of creating traffic necessary for the unit to thrive. But it’s much easier for Brouwer to stand there than, say, the likes of Ovechkin or right wing Alexander Semin.
“He’s good in front of the net. He’s been there a lot of times,” Backstrom said. “That’s where he likes to be.”
“It’s pretty easy,” Boudreau said matter-of-factly. “If you want to play, you better do what you’re supposed to.”
Brouwer knows what he’s supposed to do. He has made a living in hockey by getting in the way and outmuscling opponents.
Chris Clark proved that a right wing alongside Ovechkin can produce big numbers (30 goals in 2006-07), but Brouwer’s job is a bit different. The 6-foot-3, 213-pounder’s hard work in battles in the corner pays off for skilled players such as Ovechkin and Backstrom, who earn the benefit of more room to operate.
“There’s usually one or two guys in the corner, so if I can get in there and kick a puck loose for those guys, that’s only one or two guys that we’ve got to beat,” Brouwer said. “That just gives them more of an opportunity to be creative and score goals. That’s what they do.”
A Clark-like level of production still could happen for the 26-year-old. But even if he doesn’t get there and keeps contributing like he has early on, the Caps will be satisfied.
“It usually takes five guys to score a goal,” Boudreau said. “Only three guys, at the most, get credit for it.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- WHYNO: Tomas Vokoun gets unexpected Stanley Cup shot with Penguins
- Brandon Meriweather, Redskins' secondary ready for bounceback year
- Kirk Cousins embraces role as Redskins' offseason starter as RG3 rehabs from injury
- Capitals notes: Realignment won't prompt roster remake
- Despite Caps' first-round playoff exit, Adam Oates' first season as coach left a positive taste
Latest Blog Entries
- Redskins injury updates (5/23): WR Pierre Garcon, CB Josh Wilson each had labrum surgery
- Capitals 'love' Matt Hendricks, but how much?
- Wojtek Wolski signs in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League
- Tom Poti won't return to Capitals, plans to continue his NHL career
- Is Tom Wilson ready to be a regular for Capitals?
- Geraldo Rivera: Matt Drudge 'doing his best to stir up a civil war'
- Catholic League slams Obama: 'Do Christian lives mean so little to you?'
- Lois Lerner hated conservatives, new emails show
- HURT: Impeaching Obama is a losing strategy for the GOP
- MSNBC's Ronan Farrow questions lack of racial diversity in emoji characters
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
- Fla. mom arrested for allowing 7-year-old son to walk to park alone
- CARSON: Rudderless U.S. foreign policy
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- Patent workers paid to exercise, shop, do chores: report
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world