Miss­ing 44 hours a per­fect story for the sil­ver screen

The Washington Times Daily - - Weather -

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.”

Ryan Braun

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