Photo: J. Pat Carter
For most of this season, Troy Brouwer’s lack of production has been one of the biggest holes in the Capitals offense. He didn’t reach double-digit goals until the end of January. Coming into Thursday’s game, Brouwer had scored 14 goals, just eight of which at even strength. Last season, he scored 19 in a mere 47 games.
Brouwer, however, might be coming alive as the Caps make their push for the playoffs. He has six goals in his last five games. In the first game back from the Olympic break, he beat Tim Thomas twice as the Caps edged out the Panthers. And he got it done with some Knublian grease.
First, Brouwer got the scoring started with a backhand shovel, potting in John Carlson’s rebound on the power play.
At the end of second period, he switched to the forehand. Everything else was pretty much the same: off a rebound, on the power play, in the crease.
“Pucks laying around in the crease — we have to find ways to track those pucks down and put them in the net,” Brouwer told reporters after the game. “That’s how our power play needs to score to try to back them off so that opens up seams and opens up other looks.”
This was just Brouwer’s second multi-goal game of the season. The other one came during this current hot streak, in the second-to-last game before the break. Brouwer also got five or more shots on net for the sixth time time this year. Again, half of those occurrences have come in the last few games. It’s a good time to be Troy Brouwer, especially when you consider the gifts he’s been getting.
“We need to be productive for this team to be successful,” Brouwer said of him and the rest of Washington’s supporting cast. “We all need to chip in. We need to make sure we’re trying to excess load off of Ovi.”