Jussi Jokinen, Marcus Johansson,Troy Brouwer

Photo: AP

With just a few days left before a trade deadline, managers around the NHL are comparing their teams to the rest of the league and looking for the pieces needed for a playoff run. With the new playoff format, it’s especially important to overmatch the division rivals you are likely to face early in the postseason.

The Caps, despite sitting just fourth in the Metropolitan division, keep up with the teams above them in most statistical categories. But there is one area in which they are struggling: the second line.

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This is Definitely Not John Carlson’s Goal (GIF)

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In the first period, John Carlson scored on a point shot off a face-off. Or so we thought.

The puck took about a half-second to reach the net, but when the footage is slowed down, you can see two Caps forwards may have got their sticks on it.

As the puck passes Troy Brouwer, it definitely ramps up off his stick.

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Photo: @LoriPampushky

Not only is Troy Brouwer adept at scoring goals, he’s also an accomplished photo-bomber. Check out these beauties. Our latest example comes from Sunday night when a Caps fan took a picture in front of the glass during warm-ups.

Brouwer turns around and cheeses for the camera. Note the eyebrows.

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Even when Alex Ovechkin doesn’t get a perfect pass into his wheelhouse during the power play, The Ovi Spot is still kind to him. After muffing a pass from Nicklas Backstrom, the puck ricocheted off the dasher boards and right back onto the blade of his stick. Ovechkin put the puck flat on the ice and fired at the net.

Troy Brouwer, who apparently is wearing his Cloak of Awesome tonight, perfectly redirected it past by Antti Niemi.

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Troy Brouwer Ends Fight With Pouwerful Haymaker (GIF)

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Troy Brouwer doesn’t fight much, but when he does, he ragepunches. After Sharks defenseman Brenden Dillon gave him an extra shove after the whistle, the Caps forward dropped his gloves and won the bout with a series of rabid left-handed jabs and then a big haymaker to the chin.

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Troy Brouwer just used some hustle to create one of the most unlikely goals of the season. After a turnover in the offensive zone, Brouwer dove and reached out with his stick. Brouwer managed to steal the puck from a Ducks player and sweep it back into the zone before it crossed the blue line, which would have put his team offsides.

The puck went right to Evgeny Kuznetsov. Kuzy and Jason Chimera raced against Ilya Bryzgalov on a two-on-none. The Russian winger passed to Ice Cheetah, who buried it in Bryz’s five-hole.

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Twenty-nine-year-old forward Troy Brouwer is celebrating his 500th career game on Tuesday. No better way to commemorate the milestone than scoring a memorable goal against the defending Stanley Cup Champions.

Plus, this is a good excuse to share the ridiculous signs from the Brouwer Rangers.

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In what will end up being my favorite “Whoops, my bad” moment from today’s game, Troy Brouwer checked official Darren Gibbs into the Caps bench.

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Photo credit: Alex Brandon

Last season, the Capitals power play was one of the few things that kept the team out of the cellar, accounting for nearly one third of the team’s goals. This year, the Caps don’t stink, but their power play, run by lone coaching holdover Blaine Forsythe, has remained one of the league’s top units. But in December, as the Caps soared up the standings, their power play was impotent.

The team made a few minor changes throughout the streak, putting Mike Green back on the point and Marcus Johansson on the first unit, but it didn’t make much difference. Last month, they converted on just six of their 43 opportunities. Since the Winter Classic, however, the power play has been back on track, scoring in four of the five games the team has played in the new year.

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Troy Brouwer scored a goal in the first minute of Saturday’s game against the Red Wings, but whatever celebration there was ended quickly once Jimmy Howard‘s injury became apparent.

Howard stopped a dump-in behind the net and left it for a teammate. Instead, Brouwer snatched the puck and scored on a wraparound.

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