- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 24, 2011

Last week Troy Brouwer was very upbeat about his surgically repaired right shoulder. It was improving every day and he was taking contact at Capitals’ practice. He cautioned that he was still about a week away and expressed some minor disappointment about not getting to play in Chicago on Friday night.

Instead, he’s set to make his Caps preseason debut Monday at Verizon Center against the Blue Jackets.

And he’ll get a prominent spot on the top line with Alex Ovechkin.

“We’re going to probably try him Monday alongside Ovi,” coach Bruce Boudreau said. “We’ll see how that goes. I’ve really liked him in practice. He’s got a quick release and a big-bodied guy.”

Fans in Chicago would have liked to see Brouwer for a little homecoming, but that was the very reason Boudreau didn’t want to throw him in against his old team.

“I just didn’t want him to play his first game in Chicago,” Boudreau said. “When you play your first game and it’s [at] the last team he would’ve played [with], he would’ve been so ramped up he might’ve probably tried to do something that you don’t want him to do.”

Brouwer on Monday night will be the third different right wing (after Mike Knuble vs. Nashville at Joel Ward vs. Chicago) to get a turn with Ovechkin on the first line.

“I try and create more room — finishing checks,” Brouwer said. “I like to get in on the forecheck and because of that D-men don’t like to get hit, so hopefully I can turn more pucks over.”

The Caps will get to see him try all those things Monday.