Brouwer picks dramatic time to end long scoreless spell
Comeback sparked by right wing’s two goals
Troy Brouwer had gotten all too used to the puck bouncing off his stick. Or hitting the post, or an opposing goaltender’s pads. Or missing the net entirely.
Fourteen games the Washington Capitals right wing went without a goal, making his hat trick Jan. 14 seem like part of a vintage highlight reel. On Tuesday morning, Caps play-byplay man Joe Beninati brought it all up.
“It’s frustrating. I was talking to Joe B., today, this morning, and he was filling me in on all my lack of stats,” Brouwer said.
It’s not like the 26-yearold wasn’t plenty aware, too. But less than 12 hours later, he had more than enough on the stat sheet to make up for weeks of frustration. Brouwer scored two goals in the final four minutes of regulation to spur a 3-2 comeback victory over the New York Islanders.
Really, it was about time the big right wing put the puck in the net.
“I’ve been struggling a little bit lately, and it’s nice to break out in such dramatic fashion,” Brouwer said. “Two big points by the team is what’s most important.”
Brouwer is a team guy, more than willing to step up and talk about the Caps’ failures when they get humiliated and happy to talk about teammates’ success. But his scoring slump, coupled with losing, was starting to wear on him.
But he got out of it in quite “dramatic fashion,” NEW JERSEY at CAPITALS FRIDAY:
Still another day, a box labeled “Olympic Anti-doping Lab, Montreal, Quebec, Canada,” could float ashore, and Sandler could say to Rawlings, “Ooohhh, this looks important. We’d better hang on to this one and see that it gets delivered.”
Years pass. The Chicago Cubs win the World Series. Sandler grows a beard longer than Jayson Werth’s. Finally, figuring rescuers will never find him, he builds a raft — using an authentic, game-worn Prince Fielder jersey as a sail — and takes to the sea. In one tearful sequence, Rawlings falls off the makeshift vessel and bobs away, never to be seen again. “Spalding never would have abandoned me like this!” a neardelirious Sandler wails (in another brilliant example of product placement).
Miraculously, a ship crosses paths with our weather-beaten hero and returns him to civilization. Once back at work, he sets out to deliver the handful of packages he brought along on his voyage, including the one addressed to “Montreal, Quebec, Canada.” When he arrives at the lab, a technician opens the box, inspects the contents and smiles.
“Do you know what this is?” he asks Sandler. Sandler: “Not a clue.” Technician: “It’s Ryan Braun’s urine samples from 2011.”
Sanders: “Ryan Braun’s urine samples? Well, I’ll be darned.”
Technician: “Too bad he retired a year ago.” (Roll credits.) Just thought I’d have a little fun with baseball’s latest adventure in PED prevention. And why not? With the Braun foul-up, MLB’S much-ballyhooed program has reached the level of farce. Whoever heard of a positive test being invalidated because it was done on a Saturday and, according to the collector, none of the nearby Fedex outlets would immediately send the samples to the lab?
And this wasn’t just any collector, apparently; it was an experienced guy who claims to have handled more than 600 of these assignments and to have followed, in the case of the Milwaukee Brewers slugger, the standard protocol.
Nobody wins in a situation like this. Baseball drug-testing comes across as slapdash and ridden with loopholes. The collector is ridiculed to such an extent that he feels obliged to defend himself. And Braun, though he skirted suspension, will always have the cloud of doubt hovering over him. Did he or didn’t he?
About the only people who might come out ahead are the folks in Hollywood — that is, if they take my advice and green light “Cast Away 2.” The screenplay is still a work in progress, but mark my words: It could be a blockbuster.
Capitals right wing Troy Brouwer ended a 14-game scoreless streak Tuesday with two goals in Washington’s 3-2 win over the New York Islanders.