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.
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.
Washington Capitals forward Troy Brouwer is a man’s man. He’s gruff and beard-y. He’s a little like the Ron Swanson character in real life (except super nice). That’s why, when the Brouwer Pouwer leader was introduced as a “hero” at Friday’s Washington Wizards game, you could tell it made him a little uncomfortable.
Or maybe that’s just because they decided to trot him out with the team’s furry blue mascot G-Wiz and the mascot started talking to him while under the suit. I’m still not sure which.
Photo: Jeff Vinnick
On Thursday January 1, 2015, Troy Brouwer scored one of the biggest goals of his career. I’d say biggest, but he also scored in the Stanley Cup Finals.
Brouwer’s father Don, who had a stroke five years ago, was able to come to Nats Park to watch the moment firsthand. Our friends, the Brouwer Rangers, captured the goal with some terrific GoPro footage. This is a fairy-tale goal in many ways. I may never ever get sick of it– just like Joe Juneau’s Eastern Conference Finals goal way back in 1998.
So here are some new views of Brouwer’s goal. We’ve got the ref cam, the net cam, and then a bunch of awesome new photos you haven’t seen yet. #BrouwerPouwer
Photos: Amanda Bowen
Unable to secure a photo credential for the Winter Classic from the NHL, we went on the open market to buy a ticket. Then we saw the prices (the most expensive in five years) and had a small panic attack. That is until reader Sarah Heffern reached out to us. One of her friends was sick, unable to come, and needed someone to claim the ticket. She offered it to us at a discounted price.
Because of Sarah’s generosity (read her account of the game), we now bring you these incredible photos from Amanda Bowen. She manages to capture nearly the entire experience. Below are photos from the spectator plaza, the merch area, the USO Board, and inside Nats Park. She also brings you the Brouwer Rangers, Ovie the Bulldog, that sick flyover, Kathryn Tappen, and a celebrating Troy Brouwer.
We’ve linked to the high-resolution version for each photo, so we encourage you to click on your favorites. These are truly incredible pics. The shadows and light are crazy.
Photo credit: Mariah Mallon, 106.7 The Fan.
Just two days before scoring the game-winning goal with 12.9 seconds remaining in the 2015 Winter Classic, Troy Brouwer was opening one last Christmas present from his two biggest fans.
Brouwer joined 106.7 The Fan’s John “Cakes” Auville, Capitals radio announcer John Walton, and a handful of listeners and fans for a “Chalk Talk” event at the radio station. The hour-long discussion touched on a wide variety of topics, including Winter Classic anticipation, the Caps’ season, new coach Barry Trotz, what Brouwer thinks the team needs to be a Cup contender, and much more.
The undisputed highlight of the night came about 15 minutes in, when Cakes beckoned Ranger Ryan to the stage to present Brouwer with our gift.
After the Winter Classic ended in dramatic fashion Thursday, Mike Green told reporters, “We were screaming so hard in the huddle I almost passed out. I could only imagine what the fans were doing.”
Now we know, thanks to Brouwer Ranger Ryan’s helmet camera.
In an undeniably prescient move, Ryan switched on his helmet cam as Blackhawks star Jonathan Toews headed to the penalty box for hooking in the game’s final minute. He would capture a moment of pure joy just seconds later, when Troy Brouwer picked up a loose puck in the left circle, loaded it into the Brouwitzer and shot it straight at poor Corey Crawford.
Photo credit: Rob Carr.
On June 9, 2010, Troy Brouwer lifted the Stanley Cup, his Blackhawks defeating the Philadelphia Flyers to win hockey’s biggest prize. But in the months leading up to it, Brouwer was not fully focused on the Cup run. That spring, Don Brouwer, his father suffered a severe stroke, which left him unconscious for a week and required brain surgery. Since then, Don has only seen Brouwer play sporadically when the Caps travel to his hometown of Vancouver.
“You appreciate big things, like life, a little bit more,” Brouwer told Chuck Gormley of CSN Washington. “He’s lucky to be here. The doctors and physical therapists did an amazing job with him getting him back to where he is today. They say the later you are in life, the harder it is to rebound and get back to normal. He did an amazing job too. His will and his fight. You don’t get to say this a lot to your parents, but I’m very proud of him and how far he’s come. He’s really stubborn and he stayed on his therapy to get better.”
On Tuesday night, as EPIX’s The Road To The Winter Classic began, the Caps began what became the longest shootout in NHL history. The scheduling conflict forced fans to make a difficult decision: reality TV or live hockey. For those who stuck with the live hockey, they got a shootout that went a record twenty rounds, five more than the previous record, which also belonged to the Caps. Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin actually shot twice in the losing effort.
Karl Alzner, Michael Latta, Nate Schmidt, Brooks Orpik, John Carlson, and Tom Wilson all got their first career shootout attempts in the same game.
With all the wackiness on the ice and the game determined not to end, the Caps turned to a late-game baseball tradition to influence the outcome: rally helmets.
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