Patrick Smith

Tuesday’s 4-1 win over the St. Louis Blues required the Washington Capitals to withstand a protracted comeback effort in the second and third periods. The effect of protecting a lead meant most Caps players got outpossessed. That’s not really surprising, and it’s totally fine considering how strong the Blues are on the puck and the game’s eventual outcome. A bit more surprising, however, was Troy Brouwer‘s shot-attempt differential that night.

In 10 minutes of 5v5 play, Brouwer was on the ice for 17 Blues shot attempts …and zero by the Capitals.

That’s like 0% possession*.

This is not a big deal. It’s just fascinating. It’s not a condemnation of Brouwer’s game or anything other than a curious piece of trivia.

I asked Darryl Metcalf of Extra Skater, which is the best NHL stat site out there, about the recent history of 0% possession games. He came back at me with this list.

Player Game 5v5 TOI Shots Against
Teddy Purcell 2013-03-05 Lightning 5 at Devils 2 13.2 14
Brandon Prust 2011-10-07 Rangers 2 at Kings 3 (OT) 12.4 10
Brandon Sutter 2013-11-30 Penguins 5 at Panthers 1 12.3 18
Keith Ballard 2014-01-18 Stars 2 at Wild 3 (OT) 10.6 16
Mathieu Darche 2011-12-21 Canadiens 1 at Blackhawks 5 10.1 13
Daniel Alfredsson 2014-02-27 Red Wings 6 at Senators 1 10.0 14
Troy Brouwer 2014-04-08 Capitals 4 at Blues 1 10.0 17
Daniel Winnik 2012-02-11 Avalanche 2 at Blues 3 (OT) 10.0 11
Gilbert Brule 2012-02-18 Stars 1 at Coyotes 2 (OT) 9.9 12
Jamal Mayers 2011-11-18 Blackhawks 2 at Flames 5 9.9 12

Ranking by five-on-five time on ice, Brouwer’s 0% possession game is 6th.

Of those ten guys, only two lost the game in regulation: Mathieu “Stan” Darche on Montreal and Jamal Mayers for Chicago. Everyone else won or at least made it past #rego.

Check out Daniel Alfredsson, who got zilch offense against his old team back in February– a game that was pretty tight until near the end of the second period. That must’ve been embarrassing.

And then there’s Teddy Purcell, a sturdy winger for the Bolts, who somehow got nothing going in the offensive zone for 13+ minutes of 5v5 action against the stifling Devils. We’ve all been there, right dudes?

Brouwer actually saw more opponent shot attempts per minute than anyone else on that list. It was kind of a stinker on his part. For example, this weak clearing attempt:

Plus the whole getting-crushed-behind-the-net-and-then-running-to-Marcus Johansson thing.

Reality check: one players’s shot-attempt differential in one game means, like, nothing. The Caps won the game and Brouwer contributed– he drew a penalty on a breakaway in the second period to neutralize a four-minute power play.

One final note: three of those players– Darche, Brule, and Mayers– are no longer in the league.

Big ups to your boy Darryl Metcalf of Extra Skater.

* I’m using shot attempts, including blocks, as a proxy for puck possession.

  • Owen Johnson

    Lol, the Stan Darche reference had me all like

  • Haha. I wanted to use the “She’s lying! I did not hit her! Oh hi, Mark.” clip in the Halak stuff. I love The Room.

  • Owen Johnson

    3rd weekend of every month it plays at E Street Cinema just a few blocks from the Phonebooth. Also, during the January showing….

  • ErskSMASH
  • yv

    Alfie, as a very polite Swede, has been too shy to say to HC that he feels uncomfortable to play against former team.

  • john

    poor brouwer rangers.

  • Oh, they’ll be fine! One bad game that wasn’t so bad and the team won anyway.

  • !!!

  • Yonder

    Thank you for the Stan Darsh reference. I always think of that when I hear his name. ALWAYS.

  • Begemot

    Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero tour a surprising amount. They also do a fair amount of live Q&As before midnight screenings out here in L.A. (I went with a large group last year.) It’s pretty surreal. (He tossed around a football with the people waiting in the line outside, and cannot answer any question directly or coherently.) Sestero’s got a great sense of humor about it all. (I still need to read his book about the making of The Room.)

  • picturesandtalk

    I went one time a few years ago when Tommy and Greg were supposed to be coming to E Street according to the official Room website. They didn’t show, which seems about right.

  • Owen Johnson

    Disaster Artist is awesome. You should read it.