NicklasBackstromEmptyNet

Photo: Paul Frederiksen

Brouwer celebrates his first goal (Photo: Paul Frederiksen)

Brouwer celebrates his first goal (Photo: Paul Frederiksen)

Coming soon to warmups near you: Ian Oland in spandex. With an empty-net goal against Toronto Sunday, Troy Brouwer netted his 20th goal of the season. Ian had a bet with the Brouwer Rangers that if Troy scored 20 this year, he would go to a game with Nathan and Ryan dressed in a red unitard. Time to buy a fanny pack.

“I’m excited!” Brouwer told me of Ian’s future gear.

Brouwer’s goal was made possible by a kind turn from Nicklas Backstrom. After Brouwer banked the puck off the boards from the defensive zone, Nicky followed the puck towards the net. The Swedish center neglected to touch the puck, allowing Brouwer to hit the milestone.

“That’s the most unselfish thing I’ve ever seen in hockey,” Brouwer said.

Head coach Adam Oates agreed.

“What a great play,” the coach said. “That’s who he is; isn’t it?”

“That’s a very unselfish thing,” Oates added. “He’s smart enough, he probably knows he didn’t have the assist on it either, so he doesn’t get the point. We all know that too. Just a fantastic thing. That’s who he is.

“It might’ve stopped with our ice,” Oates joked.

Brouwer also added another goal to open scoring in the first period, wristing the puck from his usual diamond position on the power play. Troy has 10 goals in his last 14 games.

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  • Brouwer Rangers

    He did tell us Wednesday at Casino Night that the bet would give him some extra motivation! http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/2014/03/13/photobombs-and-spandex-caps-casino-night-with-the-brouwer-rangers/

  • Rob W.

    That is why Nicky is my favorite player

  • Yo8

    UGH! I Love Nick but double UGH!

  • Matt Lauer

    I second that.

  • David Foss

    They sure aren’t cheap, but seat geek has 3 single-ticket options in 402. One of them is in Row K, but it’s also the second-most-expensive option: http://seatgeek.com/bruins-at-capitals-tickets/3-29-2014-washington-district-of-columbia-verizon-center/nhl/1711166/

  • Patrick

    Quintessential model for professionalism and selflessness. Love that guy.

  • irockthered

    Love me some Nicky! That empty netter was a thing of beauty.

    Oatsy’s comment about the ice, though… ouch. But he’s right… :)

  • Kait

    Oh Nicky. You are such a sweet guy.

  • bskillet

    Agreed that’s who he is, 100% team guy.

  • Tate Safford

    And the assclowns from NBC and TSN will find something bad to say.

  • Alex Hughes

    Nicky just wanted to see Ian in spandex, that’s why he gave Brouwer goal # 20

  • Caps nut

    Not something Ovie would have done.

  • Lawrence

    Great player, possibly a better person. The world is lucky to have people like him around.

  • Ash

    Go to bed, Mike Milbury, you are drunk.

  • VeggieTart

    Because it was only Ovi who enabled Tom Wilson to get his first NHL goal.

  • Heidi

    I agree that I think Ovi may have tapped it in, but this season he has made some very selfless assists.

  • Rhino40

    IMO, this was either:

    • A brilliant attempt by Bäckis’ to end to the decades-long hate the Hockey Gods seem to harbor for our beloved team.: It banks more good karma than I can imagine. It speaks of nobility and honor and character. It was the awesomest awesome ever to awesomely awesome an awesome,..I am running out of words.
    Besides, if the Hockey Gods still hate us after this, then their names must be Palpatine, Voldemort, J.R. Ewing, the Koch Bothers, and Satan.

    OR

    • Then again, maybe Bäckis really, really really wantrd Ian to lose his bet with the Brouwer Rangers…

  • Rhino40

    Unless they were too busy kissing He Who Shall Not Be Named’s posterior long enough to notiuce…

  • IANWATKINSismyHERO

    who the fuck cares? seriously?

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com Ian Oland

    Sigh

  • Eric Schulz

    Um… I disagree. I know everybody loved what it demonstrated, but all it did was take away a point from Backstrom. Had he tapped it in, HE gets a point, and both Brouwer and Alzner keep theirs…

  • Steven Lemmeyer

    Then perhaps you missed the point behind what Backstrom did, Brouwer’s appreciation, and this article. The point is he was being an unselfish teammate and letting his teammate earn his 20th goal of the season. If Backstrom were to have tapped it in they would have had assists, yes, but that would have been the selfish thing to have done. As you can see, Backstrom’s act has earned him a lot of (more) respect.

  • Shaun Phillips

    You obviously care enough to read/comment on it.

  • OlietheGoalie

    Yeah, he’s pretty cool.

  • OlietheGoalie

    Angry much?

  • OlietheGoalie

    Man, it’s like Ovie doesn’t has as many assists as he does goals in his career. Wait…

  • OlietheGoalie

    …what?

  • Smiley456

    Ian, make sure your spandex is impervious to camera flashbulbs. Not sure you want to show what’s underneath, if you get my drift!

  • Jay Landon

    I’m thinking of the effort he and Backy made to get Erat an EN goal before the Olympic break. Seems I remember the goal Erat scored was one that Ovi probably could have scored himself had he wanted.

  • Shaun Phillips

    Might’ve been in response to the Brouwer Rangers’ call for a single ticket in the 402 section for a friend.

  • Clint Petty

    ^^^^^ Must have had Backy on his fantasy team.

    So did I buddy, but I’ll take that play over stats any day.

  • Eric Schulz

    What if the puck had bounced on a rut and gone wide, leading to an icing, and the Coyotes score on the ensuing faceoff, tying the game? I’ve watched the Caps this season; I’m shocked that didn’t happen.
    Really, Brouwer “earned” that goal? I mean… sure; I’d rather everybody on the team tally as many points as possible.

  • Eric Schulz

    Fantasy sports are monumentally stupid; I’d rather cheer for my REAL team, the Caps… you know what, maybe I should give fantasy a try.

  • zoltoner

    That’s why he’s the PuckBuddys’ Angel.

  • Steven Lemmeyer

    A fan of the Caps is a friend of mine, so when I say this don’t take it personally (no, seriously) but what game were you watching? First, they were not playing the Coyotes but were playing some team with a blue leaf…something about maple syrup. Second, if you re-watch the play you can clearly see that the hypothetical scenarios you provided were not going to happen. Third, we can agree that saying Brouwer ‘deserved’ the goal is questionable but still, yeah, he has the G. Lastly, it snowed yesterday and I’m cranky; for this I apologize.

  • Alex Erchov

    This is a second time in recent memory that the Verizon Center ice is jokingly mocked. The last time was when Boudreau was back for the first time with the Ducks. He joked “I hope the ice is better” in one of the interviews.
    Is it an unspoken consensus that our ice is bad, compared with the majority of the league’s venues?

  • Eric Schulz

    My mind was stuck on the game 8 days prior against the Coyotes… no idea why, we played 3 games in between those 2 games… huh. Oh well, that’s of no matter.
    To some degree, I see what you are saying.. but it just seems like everything bad that can happen to the Caps does; I’d like to see him shove it home, preventing the Leafs from swatting it off the line, if nothing else.
    I mean, if I were in Brouwer’s place, I’d be happy to see Backstrom tally a point on the play, especially since he wouldn’t be taking it away from anybody else. Of course I see why it was an exceptional play… I just don’t believe that the Caps will ever turn karma towards us, so I’d like to see everybody tally as many points as possible… I hope I’m wrong, of course, but I’ve seen nothing to discourage me.