Brouwer conservatively celebrating his goal

Brouwer conservatively celebrating. (Photo credit: Patrick McDermott)

A few weeks ago, Michael Wurman, Director of Game Entertainment and TV Production for the Washington Capitals, teased a special goal celebration for Troy Brouwer. During the Capitals open practice at Verizon Center on January 17, Brouwer busted a move and performed PSY’s Gangnam Style dance in skates. Wurman threatened that once Brouwer scores, that footage would be seen again.

“That song. Oy,” Wurman said. “But the people have spoken, they want it.”

On Friday, after Brouwer scored his third goal of the year with a perfectly placed shot over Ilya Bryzgalov’s right shoulder, Wurman gave the people what they wanted.

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Guys, Kuzya’s not really dead. We promise.

Caps prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov started the season with an impressive stretch of nine goals and 21 points in his first 19 games. Since then, however, something wasn’t quite working for Kuzya who only added two goals and six points in his next 12 outings.

With that uncharacteristic stat-line (and news about his non-inclusion to the national team for the Moscow stage of EuroHockeyTour), the star right-wing faced adversity for one of the first times in his career. Heading into Traktor’s game against Spartak Moscow (featuring Shaone Morrisonn) Friday, Kuznetsov had something to prove.

And prove something he did. Kuznetsov scored two huge goals, collecting three points and 8 shots on goal in 19:53 of playing time. He also unveiled a new goal celebration.

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While the glove kiss remains Alex Ovechkin’s first reaction to scoring, we’ve seen him add new flourishes over the years. There’s jumping into the glass and the hot stick fiasco, and now it’s time to add a new item to the list: the belly pat.

We like to think of it as the gestural companion to “attaboy”, something that a four year-old boy who just learned how to eat with a fork might do when he’s pleased with himself. It’s a thing of joy, of bravado, of that precise brand of smugness that makes Ovi so lovable to his fans and so infuriating to everyone else.

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