In the past several weeks, the Washington Capitals have gone from a monumental disappointment, perhaps the league’s biggest, to one of the scariest teams in the Eastern Conference as we prepare to head into the postseason.
Right now, the lion’s share of the credit for that is going to Alex Ovechkin. And that’s probably the way it should be. He’s been absolute dynamite for this club in the past couple of months. He could very well take home the Rocket Richard Trophy as the league leader in goals and should probably work his way into the Hart Trophy debate before it’s all said and done.
But not to be overlooked in all of this is Troy Brouwer. The former Chicago Blackhawks forward has also been a major key to this in-season turnaround for the Caps. Not quite on the level of Ovechkin, but he definitely deserves a ton of credit for what he’s meant to this team this year.
Brouwer hasn’t been a guy to back down from the struggles. He’s been very vocal this season, throughout all of the struggles and now through the triumphs. He’s always had a reputation as a great character guy in the locker room. Now his play is starting to back that up.
Overall, Brouwer has seen his game blossom since the move to Washington. And increased role has helped his game grow and the Capitals are now reaping the benefits of what Brouwer can do when given the right opportunity. While Ovechkin’s numbers over the past couple of months are absolutely absurd, Brouwer isn’t far behind.
Brouwer has 32 points on the year. If this were a full season, he’d blow his career high of 40 completely out of the water. Nineteen of his 32 have come via goal. Six of his last 32 points have come in the past five games. He had a pair of two goal games and another two in which he scored as well. Don’t forget about the physical game he brings either. His 104 hits are second on the team, behind Ovechkin.
It’s been something to watch Brouwer’s game grow since joining the Capitals. He really is a very solid player when given the opportunity. The Caps have seen that in his two seasons in Washington and he’s exactly the type of player that will help them to be successful in the postseason.