Originally written on Red Light District Hockey  |  Last updated 11/15/11
Chicago_blackhawks_v_5035


The Washington Capitals made a handful of bold moves in the off-season. One of them was giving up a first round pick on draft day to pry Troy Brouwer from Chicago. The Caps acquired Brouwer not only for a boost to its secondary scoring, but for his physicality as well.

Through Monday’s action, Brouwer is ranked third in the NHL in hits (54); last year he finished fifth in the league with 262 hits. Aside from Alex Ovechkin and his rambunctious style of play, the Capitals have not had a physical presence like Brouwer’s in a long time.

“It’s something we haven’t had,” Capitals head coach Bruce Boudreau said of Brouwer’s physicality.

Capitals forward Brooks Laich added, “He’s taken our team to a new physical level. He’s a big guy and always plays through people – he doesn’t turn away and doesn’t stop.”

Though playing alongside Nicklas Backstrom and Ovechkin for most of this season, Brouwer didn’t get off to the start he would have liked offensively, as he scored just one goal in the month of October. However, Brouwer has three in six games this month and is starting to gel nicely with his team.

“I had a little bit of a slow start,” Brouwer said. “I was too worried about being a physical presence and wasn’t contributing offensively like I should be. I’ve been a bit more comfortable and getting a few more points now, so it feels like I’m picking my game up right now.”

Boudreau added, “We had a meeting (Monday) and he’s starting to feel more comfortable in his role and understands it,” Boudreau said. “I expect more from him even in the future now.”

Brouwer, 26, scored 39 goals in his final two seasons in Chicago. The 6-foot-3 power forward mentioned that the move from Chicago to Washington was a bit easier, given his role was similar with a comparable Blackhawks lineup.

“We were a big puck possession team in Chicago and I had a chance to play with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. That just gives you a little more ease when you play Ovechkin and Backstrom,” Brouwer said. “Being able to play with Toews and Kane in Chicago makes it easier to make that transition, because you’re not just worried about playing with those guys; you can just settle in and play hockey.”

Along with his physical and goal-scoring potential, Brouwer’s playoff (and Cup-winning) experience with the Blackhawks was another reason the Capitals were attracted to him. The Caps are aiming high this year and going for the Stanley Cup, something the franchise has yet to win.

“He knows what it takes to win,” Capitals forward Mike Knuble said. “He’s a young player with (a Cup) and fits in with our core at the same age. When we’re on the road, he talks about it a little bit and maybe that can inspire our guys to get what he has.”

Photo credit: Chris Gordon

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Kings terminate Mike Richards' contract due to 'breach'

Report: Nets believe they can trade Deron Williams

Mickelson likely committed no crime even if he gambled

Report: Dwyane Wade to decline option, become a free agent

Darren McFadden: I feel like a rookie again

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Mavericks a favorite to land DeAndre Jordan

Report: Kevin Love likely to re-sign with Cavaliers

Bo Ryan announces he'll coach Wisconsin one more season

Jadeveon Clowney must balance expectations in recovery

Report: Suns may shop Eric Bledsoe in trade talks

Cam Newton ready to embrace pressure from massive contract

Fred Smoot: I played with gay players, 'everyone knew'

Bobby Portis brings donuts for media at press conference

John Calipari shares his thoughts on Confederate flag

Steve Weatherford, Jason Kelce get into Twitter beef

Larry Nance Jr. apologized to 'Mr. Bryant' for rapist tweet

J.J. Watt 'tackles' stage crasher at Zac Brown Band show

Jimmy Butler reportedly wants to leave Bulls, sign with Lakers

Selecting the 2015 National League All-Stars

Taking a look at the Philadelphia Sixers' latest horde

Aaron Rodgers and Olivia Munn showcase sword fighting skills

Five injuries having the biggest effect on MLB playoff race

Jeff Francoeur makes one of the worst throws in history

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Mickelson linked to money laundering?

Reminiscing on 'Love & Basketball' 15 years later

Selecting the 2015 NL All-Stars

The Sixers' latest horde

Projected landing spots for NBA's top free agents

MLB changes format for Home Run Derby

Revis to work out with Patriots DBs

Peterson: I'm still NFL's best RB

Kobe gives great quote on friendship

Winners, losers and steals of the NHL Draft

Carmelo calls Porzingis a 'steal'

WATCH: J.J. Watt scores hockey goal

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.