[Editor's Note: Though he's one of the best players in the world, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin is also a normal guy who likes to take in a movie every now and then. That's how RMNB reader Mahesh P. came to run into him and have a night he'll remember forever. Let's turn it over to Mahesh.]

My brother and I found out that Troy Brouwer would be at Tysons Corner Mall a few Thursdays ago, so we decided to go meet him. We were indeed successful in meeting him and he seemed like a really nice guy. I told him that I really like the way the 2nd line is playing right now and that they are cycling the puck really well, which he agreed with obviously. I also mentioned that I really like when Oates puts Fehr in the top 6. To this, Brouwer said “I agree, I think Fehr is really good because he plays well.” So, I would call that a successful meeting.

As amazing as the night had already been, it did not end there.

My brother and I decided to go to see the new Hunger Games movie in the same mall after meeting Brouwer. We debated whether or not to buy the tickets on our phone before dinner so that we wouldn’t have to stand in line at the box office. For the rest of my life, I will be thankful that we decided not to buy the tickets in advance.

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Washington Capitals forward Eric Fehr absorbed a scary hit a little more than halfway through a sleepy Caps-Panthers game. Florida’s Erik Gudbranson put a flying elbow into Eric Fehr’s head, sending Fehr reeling, then into the locker room.

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Take Troy Brouwer to #TheBank


Photo: @tbrouwer20

The struggles of Troy Brouwer have been a long-running subplot in our weekly stat snapshot series. With just two goals and one assist at 5-on-5, Brouwer’s production has been way below what had been expected for him, and his underlying stats have been among the lowest on the team. Indeed, the numbers have been quite unkind to Troy, and at times they have even endangered our friendship with the Brouwer Rangers.

But I think it’s all about to turn around.

As I discussed in Sunday’s snapshot, and as Y.B.J.P. mentioned on Thursday, Troy’s imminent rebound is thanks to his recent divorce from Brooks Laich.

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Love ugly Christmas sweaters and cheesy music videos? This video will make you happy. The Washington Capitals have recorded a music video for Jingle Bells to wish you guys happy holidays. It features Caps captain Alex Ovechkin on the bells, Brooks Laich on the drums, Joel Ward on an inflatable pink saxophone, Troy Brouwer on bass, Aaron Volpatti on the guitar, Nicklas Backstrom on the tambourine, John Erskine on a pre-k piano, Tom Wilson on the ukulele, and– of course– Mike Green rocking the cowbell.

You have to see this.

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Washington Capitals winger Troy Brouwer has struggled this season. Maybe struggled is an understatement. He hadn’t scored a goal in 11 games, since early November, and his line has played so poorly that Peter called it the Black Hole Line.

Maybe breaking up with Brooks Laich meeting fans at Tyson’s Corner a few days ago did something to perk Brouwer up. He looked like a completely different player in the first period of tonight’s game against the Nashville Predators. He put up three shots and ended his 11-game goalless streak. After the goal he looked very, very confused.

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Bad Starts Continue to Doom the Washington Capitals


Photo credit: Alex Brandon

The Washington Capitals have a glaring hole: they are terrible in the first period. The team is being outscored 24-15 in opening frames, one of the worst differentials in the league. Friday night, it happened again: the Montreal Canadiens took a 3-0 lead less than 14 minutes into the game.

The Caps know this is a problem too. It’s existed all year and you’d have to be stupid to miss it. Most troubling, though, is the lack of answers the players seem to have for the issue. They know it’s there, they just can’t stop it.

“Maybe we need some better music or something,” Troy Brouwer quipped. “I don’t know. We gotta find a way. We gotta find it fast.”

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Photo credit: Alex Brandon

Troy Brouwer has struggled this year. Despite his five tallies he has posted team-worst possession numbers along with linemate Brooks Laich. The 28-year-old has scored just one goal at even-strength. Friday night, Brouwer tried to contribute in other ways. Namely, punching people in the face.

It started when Brouwer ran Montreal Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov in the near corner. Though the hit was clean, T-Brow skated a long way to make the check. Flashy defenseman P.K. Stubban, apparently, didn’t like that. The goal-scoring d-man shoved Brouwer before asking him to drop the gloves. Troy obliged.

“I just came in and finished my check,” Brouwer told me. “He wasn’t happy with it.”

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For nearly two full periods, Tuesday’s night’s game was mind-numbingly dull. But then, Troy Brouwer fumbled the puck in spectacular fashion on the power play, putting the Columbus Blue Jackets up 1-0. The next Caps power play went a little a better.

Skating into the offensive zone, Martin Erat fought for the puck near far circle with Columbus defenseman Dalton Prout — yes, that’s a real name — as John Carlson and Tom Wilson drove towards the front of the net. As Erat approached, he was tripped by Prout. Falling over, Marty made a brilliant pass to the front of the net, connecting with Carlson. JCar scored for his fourth goal in six games. Carlson also fell over as he contacted the puck, crashing into CSN’s goal cam. Wilson, eager to celebrate, then tripped over Carlson’s legs, himself tumbling into the net.

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GIF by welshhockeyfan

The Washington Capitals organization loves bobbleheads. They’ve given out countless resin statues in recent years. At blood drives, at home games, or as part of the team’s Kids Club: tons tiny, oddly proportioned Caps players have made their way into fans’ homes.

Tonight we add another to that family: mustached George Parros Troy Brouwer.

Troy’s handlebar look is because of Movember. Many Caps — most notably Karl Alzner and Alex Ovechkin — are growing ‘staches this month to raise money and awareness for cancer research and mental health.

So the Brouw bobblehead– the Brouwblehead– is particularly awesome– even though it looks more like Super Mario than #20.

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Photo credit: @BrouwerRangers

Several Washington Capitals players are participating in Movember, a month-long facial hair fundraiser for prostate and testicular cancers as well as mental health. For the next however-many-days-are-in-November-I-can’t-remember-the-rhyme, the Caps will be growing lip shrubbery for a good cause.

The Caps are doing their part to raise awareness. At the November 5th game against the New York Islanders, the Caps will be giving away Troy Brouwer Bobbleheads. (Also, Alex Ovehckin is expected to return, so maybe buy tickets?)


P.S. Why not get involved in Movember? You can donate to someone’s campaign– such as friend-of-the-blog Nick Frye!

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