Missing 44 hours a perfect story for the silver screen
Forty-four hours. That’s what we’re talking about. Twenty hours more than the Kiefer Sutherland TV show, 83 fewer than the James Franco movie. Because it took that long to ship Ryan Braun’s urine samples to the lab, his positive test was thrown out by an arbitrator and the National League’s Most Valuable Player dodged a 50-game suspension. Praise the Lord and pass the testosterone.
In the hearing, Braun’s legal team reportedly made a big deal of those 44 hours. They made them sound like hours. You would have thought the Fedex plane had gotten caught in a storm, crashed in the ocean, and Braun’s samples had languished on a deserted island for several years in the custody of the Sole Survivor. Yeah, that’s right. It was like that Tom Hanks film, “Cast Away.”
It wouldn’t be a bad idea, in fact, if Hollywood made a sequel to “Cast Away” revolving around the L’affaire Braun. Think about it. Steve Carrell could play the collector who takes the samples — and then stores them in his basement for nearly two days — and Adam Sandler could play the Sole Survivor, the Fedex employee who gets marooned on the uncharted isle. (For the part of Braun, I’m kind of leaning toward Tom Cruise in an uncredited cameo.)
Anyway, talk about potential. As in the original, wreckage from the plane could wash up on shore and help Sandler pass the time . . . as well as plan his escape. One day, he could find a package containing a plastic bat and ball on the beach, and he could paint a face on the ball and have one-sided conversations with it. Rawlings, he could call his “friend.” Another day, a complete set of Topps baseball cards could arrive, and he could divvy them up with Rawlings and propose elaborate trades (such as Roy Halladay and Derek Jeter for Josh Hamilton and a Coast Guard cutter to be named later).
by beating Islanders goaltender Evgeni Nabokov twice — first thanks to a perfect centering pass by Mathieu Perreault and second by deflecting a shot by Brooks Laich.
Coach Dale Hunter said it would take a “special” play to beat Nabokov, and Brouwer made two of them. That he scored twice in 3:30 after going 14 games without a single goal wasn’t all that shocking to Hunter.
“That’s hockey for ya,” he said. “He stopped at the net. Where he got his goals are 2 feet away from the top of the blue. You stay around the net, good things will happen. And he’s been doing it a lot, but he had some bad breaks hitting posts, and tonight he got rewarded for it.”
Several players have broken out of scoring doldrums lately, including Jason Chimera and Jeff Halpern. Matt Hendricks needed until his 30th game of this season to score his first, so he can more than empathize with Brouwer, and share in the joy that comes with finally lighting the lamp.
“He plays the same way every night. He’s not the kind of guy that has end-to-end rushes, goes through players, stick-handles through guys and scores,” Hendricks said of Brouwer. “He’s meat and potatoes. He goes to the net hard and both his goals were because of that. It’s paying off now.”
Acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks in June’s draft for a first-round pick and then signed to a two-year, $4.7 million contract, Brouwer has dealt with expectations in his first season with the Caps. As right wing Mike Knuble’s role has been reduced, teammates talked up Brouwer as a very similar player. More than likely, he’s a Knuble replacement going forward.
But in order to fill those skates, Brouwer has to score. Knuble enjoyed eight straight 20-goal seasons dating to last year, and Brouwer is on pace to hit 22 this season, which would match a career high.
For now, he’ll happily take the two he scored Tuesday and go from there.
“It’s nice to be able to get out of it, especially when you’re struggling a little bit,” Brouwer said. “It just makes you feel better about yourself, makes you have a lot more confidence. Hopefully I can continue just playing solid hockey.”