I’m not trying to make this series coincide with jersey numbers, but when the Rangers call upon you ya gotta step up.
Troy Brouwer had an excellent
2012-13 season. He improved his 2011-12 goal total by one despite playing 35 fewer games. But he did so by scoring on 7 of the 28 shots he took while on the brower play, a feat I don’t expect him to repeat in 13-14. That doesn’t mean we should sleep on Troy B though; in fact, he will be a crucial factor in the team’s success this season.
I expect Brouwer to be paired with Mikhail Grabovski and Martin Erat, two players known for being stout on tough defensive assignments and driving play in the offensive zone. Brouwer will be expected to be the line’s finisher, a pretty cozy job if you can find the work. His well-above-average 14% shooting percentage should serve him well on the second line, but the secret will be to shoot like a maniac.
We know he’s got the set-up men; we know he’s got the skill; now Brouwer has to become the kanooblian force at even-strength we’ve always hoped he’d be. If Brouwer crashes the net and takes — let’s say– 7+ shots for every 60 minutes he’s on the ice, the Capitals will have two deadly scoring lines. But if Brouwer won’t shoot or if his lofty shooting percentage drops, the second line will be inert, allowing opponents to focus on shutting down Ovechkin and the top line instead.
That’s a lot riding on Brou-Brou.