Capitals' final report cards: Troy Brouwer

Capitals' final report cards: Troy Brouwer
April 25, 2014, 3:15 pm
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CSNWashington.com Capitals Insider Chuck Gormley will evaluate the 2013-14 performance of each player on the Caps roster. One breakdown will occur every weekday in alphabetical order. Today: Troy Brouwer

Position: Right Wing

Shoots: Right

Age: 28 [turns 29 Aug. 17]

Ht/Wt: 6-3, 213

Games: 82

Goals: 25

Assists: 18

Points: 43

Penalty minutes: 92

Plus-Minus: Minus-6

Average Ice Time: 18:50

Contract Status: 2 years remaining on 3-year, $11 million contract [$3.66 million cap hit in 2014-15]

Strengths: In his third season with the Capitals Brouwer serves as a strong presence on the ice as well as in the locker room, willing to stick up for teammates and challenge them when needed. Playing the “diamond” position in the slot on the power play, half of Broweer’s goals and point totals came on the man-advantage, where he had a career-high 12 power-play goals and 21 power-play points. He ranked tied for sixth in the NHL in power-play goals, led the Capitals in hits [210] and finished second on the team in goals. Brouwer scored a team-high 15 goals in the Capitals’ 27 games since the beginning of February and the Caps were 15-1-4 this season when Brouwer scored.  He’ll be joining teammates Joel Ward and Jason Chimera in next month’s  IIHF World Championship in Minsk, Belarus.

Weaknesses: Without Mike Ribeiro feeding him for one-timers, Brouwer struggled to adjust to new center Mikhail Grabovski early in the season, managing just 10 goals in his first four months of the season. Perhaps because of Ribeiro, Brouwer had a tendency to stay high in the slot instead of crashing the net and using his body for deflections and rebounds, something he did more of in the final two months of the season.

[RELATED: Jason Chimera disappointed to not be playing]

Quotable: “Our attention to detail needs to be better. I think in the past this team got by on their skill alone and their ability to outscore teams. Now that we don’t have that dynamic scoring that the Caps of the past had we have to rely heavily on our details.”

Memorable Moment: Brouwer scored a game-winning power play goal in a 3-2 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes on March 8 to help the Caps snap a three-game losing streak. The good vibrations didn’t last long as the Caps lost back-to-back games to the Penguins to fall farther back in the playoff race.

2014-15 Expectations: With Tom Wilson due to earn more ice time and Alex Ovechkin and Joel Ward entrenched on the right side, it will be interesting to see how Brouwer is used next season, or if the Caps might use him as trade bait in their attempt to improve their blue line. Either way, Brouwer works hard enough and has the tools to be a 30-goal scorer in the NHL and he should aim to get there next season.