Friday, January 13, 2012

Subtle hockey qualities and Troy Brouwer

Plenty of hockey writers and bloggers use statistics to prove their point about this or that hockey player.  The problem with relying solely on statistics to evaluate a player is that it misses the subtle points of hockey that are just as, if not more, important to winning championships.  I'm talking about hitting, forechecking, parking your butt in front of the net and winning battles for the puck along the boards.  Things the Capitals have struggled with for years.

Troy Brouwer shows those qualities every time he's on the ice.  I started this post during the 1-0 win over Pittsburgh the other night when Brouwer had 11 hits!   Tonight against the Tampa Bay Lightning, he's on fire.  Brouwer started by screening goalie Dwayne Roloson on Alex Ovechkin's power play goal.  Then, he scored his first goal.  On that one, he was to the side of the net and looked like he was going to pass.  Roloson thought so, too, as Brouwer five-holed him.  On his second goal, Brooks Laich snatched the puck out of the air from Mike Knuble's poke check behind the net and passed it to Brouwer who shot it into a wide open net.

And, he ended the game with an empty netter goal for his first official NHL hat trick.  Not so subtle tonight.  Congrats Troy!

The Caps need more gritty hockey players like Troy Brouwer.  Those type of players win the battles a team needs to survive the sixteen game slugfest that allows them to drink from a shiny silver chalice.  I'm enjoying watching Brouwer play.

Other Notes...

  • Can the Caps PLEASE stop getting stupid, ridiculous delay of game penalties late in the third period that cost them a damn goal?   Roman Hamrlik cost them a goal with that penalty tonight.  Arghhhhh......
  • I really don't want to watch Karl Alzner fight Steve Downie as I envision Alznar going out with a concussion.  But, I'm impressed by his passion and he got a couple of good shots on Downie.  Alzner continued jawing hard at Downie in the penalty box. 
  • Congrats to Ovie and Dennis Wideman for their selection to the All Star game.  Wideman seems to be pumped from his all star selection as he had two assists tonight and was visible all over the ice.
  • A friend of the Capsdreamer household recently witnessed Dale Hunter checking Jason Chimera into the boards at practice.  Have I mentioned that I love Dale?
So, the Caps managed to hang on for the win tonight, 4-3, but, I witnessed some ugly hockey during that third period. Caps have two more games against teams on the 2nd night of back-to-back games.  Four more must win points.

Carolina is next.

Let's go Caps!

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