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Troy Brouwer 2014-2015 Preview And Projections

After previewing center Jay Beagle yesterday, today we take a look at the guy who could potentially the third member of the Washington Capitals’ first line: Troy Brouwer.

Troy Brouwer 2013-2014 Season In Review

On paper, Troy Brouwer had an impressive season. He set a career high in goals (25) and points (43). He was surprisingly efficient at winning faceoffs with a 51.2% faceoff win percentage. He was especially efficient on power plays, where he scored 12 of his goals and nine of his assists. He spent a lot of time on both the penalty kill and the power play.

There were some things that are worth being concerned about, however. The most obvious one is Troy Brouwer’s reliance on the power play. He had 48% of his goals, 50% of his assists, and 48.8% of his points on the man advantage. He struggled at times at even strength- you definitely want a top six forward to score more than 22 points a season at even strength. You can probably chalk this one up to fatigue, but Troy Brouwer was also on the ice for 19 goals while on the penalty kill.

Troy Brouwer’s Best Moment Of 2013-2014

Troy Brouwer had several. Brouwer had two very memorable goals last season. The first completed a comeback against the Phoenix Coyotes at the Verizon Center.

That’s Troy Brouwer doing what he does best: crashing the net. When you crash the net, rebounds tend to find you.

The second goal was an empty net goal. Normally, that might not seem like that big of a goal, but it involved a certain Washington Capitals blogger having to dress up in a spandex Power Ranger suit, plus it was Brouwer’s 20th goal of the season, so obviously the goal was pretty huge.

Worst Moment Of 2013-2014

Definitely the time that Troy Brouwer and Marcus Johansson collided in the neutral zone.

What To Expect From Troy Brouwer In 2014-2015

There is a good chance that Troy Brouwer will see significant time on the first line with Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom. Brouwer’s WOWY numbers suggest that he and Backstrom are a good fit as their Corsi% together last season (49.5%) is better than Brouwer’s without Backstom (47.4%) and Backstrom’s without Brouwer (49.3%). Brouwer and Ovechkin surprisingly haven’t played together much over the past two seasons (a shade over 20 minutes), so I’m not sure how Brouwer would impact Ovechkin. They have played together well on the power play though, for what it’s worth.

If Troy Brouwer plays significant minutes with 8 and 19, chances are that’s going to result in a pretty good season for Brouwer. On paper, it seems like it would work out. Brouwer’s physical play around the net should mesh well with Ovechkin’s shooting. I’d expect a career year from Brouwer if he plays alongside Ovechkin and Backstrom most of the time at even strength.

I expect Troy Brouwer to be far better utilized on special teams. Last season, Brouwer saw way too much time on both the power play and the penalty kill. Brouwer is good at both, so he should see time during both situations. Just not nearly as much. Tom Wilson, Eric Fehr, and Joel Ward could all give Brouwer a break on power plays, and a combination of Beagle, Brooks Laich, Fehr, and Michael Latta could give Brouwer a break during penalty kills.

 Bold Prediction

Troy Brouwer will set a career high in points (and not have to score roughly half of his points on the power play to do it). I’m not confident enough to say he’ll score over 25 goals, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he does.

Done so far: Karl Alzner, Nicklas Backstrom, Jay Beagle

Next up: John Carlson

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