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Brouwer on Caps: “We looked like a real timid, beaten down hockey team.”

Mar 3, 2012, 9:45 AM EDT

Dale Hunter AP

Last night’s 5-0 loss to New Jersey was about as low as it has gotten for the Capitals. The team looked disinterested, the fans booed them, and hell, some of them even left early after being sick of watching what used to be one of the league’s most exciting teams play another miserable game.

Leave it to forward Troy Brouwer to bring the truth that hits the hardest as he told Chuck Gormley of after the game. Sometimes the truth is as obvious as it seems.

“I don’t think we worked very hard in the third period; I thought we packed it in,” right wing Troy Brouwer said. “We looked like a real timid, beaten down hockey team. We have to address that and make sure there is no quit in us, ever.”

It’s quite the drastic change for the Caps after just winning three in a row before last night’s debacle. Good vibrations get stunted after a stink bomb of a game like that and with good reason. For everything right the Caps did during their win streak, none of that appeared at all last night. It’s almost as if the Caps are a very mental team that folds up the tents at the first sign of trouble.

  1. subliminalnoize - Mar 3, 2012 at 10:44 AM

    This was hands down one of the worst displays of professional hockey I’ve had the discouraging pleasure of watching. There was five minutes where the Caps came out looking like they might have shown up for a hockey game, then Hendricks took a penalty and then the Devils shut the door on anything that could of even been considered pro-level hockey play. These guys have been nothing but headaches to watch this season, I’m really hopping that they don’t make the playoff’s that way they at least don’t turn into a first round joke again. Its not like they could pull of what the Habs did to them in the 2009-2010 playoffs, the goal tending and commitment from the team and players aren’t there. This team needs a total retooling from Gm all the way down to the players that are a cancer to the team. Our Captain has just stopped caring, you can see this with the way he carries himself on the ice when the team goes down by a goal or two, or just the simple fact that he’s dismissing comments made about him by someone who actually made it to the Stanley Cup Finals(even though they got swept). C-R-A-P Crap Crap Crap

  2. pens919209 - Mar 3, 2012 at 10:46 AM

    Teams that fold when things go bad usually suffer from a severe lack of leadership and character… which really isn’t a surprise to anyone who’s seen this team, even when they were high-flying and all offense. It’s not a style change alone, or even a coaching change, that will save this team – there’s some personnel that needs to change too.

  3. xxshookonexx - Mar 3, 2012 at 10:51 AM

    Still puzzles me that no moves were made the trade deadline….

  4. 8man - Mar 3, 2012 at 10:54 AM

    I was at the game last night. I brought my whole family to see their first live hockey game. The “Red” couldn’t even muster a single goal so my kid could see the Verizon Center light up. Hideous performance in their own building against a team that played the night before. I don’t know what’s wrong with this team, but it goes deep.

  5. sportsfreak13 - Mar 3, 2012 at 11:09 AM

    You can’t get to high after a win, and you can’t get to low after a loss. That being said I think caps fans see the writing on the wall and that sucks. Really hope the organization gets this straightened up next season for the fans sake. I’m a pens fan but I’d rather see pens vs cap when its elite vs elite, not medicore v bottom feeder (standings not talent).

  6. blomfeld - Mar 3, 2012 at 12:47 PM


    I feel sorry for the Capitals and their fans, as this just isn’t right … and yet they don’t have to look far in-order to see who’s responsible for this mess … you guessed it, big man “Ovie” ! If this grossly “overpaid” leech had any honor in him at all, then he’d fall on his own sword … either that, or he’d pull his team up by the scruff and get them going right now ! But he likely won’t and so this quandary will just continue … it’s a shame …

    • pens919209 - Mar 3, 2012 at 3:22 PM

      Ovechkin isn’t a leader – but that’s the position he was put in on this team and you’re seeing the results. If he were just a high-caliber winger on another team that had an identity and a clear captain, he would be deadly. With the Capitals as currently constructed, he’s looking more like dead weight.

  7. hsnepts - Mar 3, 2012 at 1:02 PM

    As a fan, the toughest thing is to watch a team in decline. Having a bottom dweller team is bad, but you start with realistic expectations, and there’s always the hope and promise of youth and draft picks.

    What we are witnessing here with the caps is the opposite of what we’ve witnessed with the Pens and Hawks over the last decade. Its a case study of how a team at the op can fall from grace. For every team that goes from the bottom to the top (like the Pens, Hawks), there’s a team that goes in the opposite direction.

    What amazes me is the GMs that know how to KEEP a team at the top. A lot of god GMs know how to buid a team, but staying compeitive without the drafts is the truest measure of a GM.

  8. capsrockva - Mar 3, 2012 at 1:56 PM

    They better come out on fire tomorrow against the flyers. That being said I don’t think Ovie should’ve been named Capt, com’on 3-0 in the first/second @ home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! embarrassing is the best way to describe this mess.

  9. ikillchicken - Mar 3, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    I just don’t know what to make of this team. Just when it seems like they’re finally playing up to potential they turn around and turn in an effort like this.

  10. smgraff4 - Mar 3, 2012 at 7:18 PM

    My comments on the Capitals this year is that as an organization, it’s like they are waiting for “Superman” Kuznetsov to come in and save them. And as a Capitals fan, the biggest success of this season will be whether they can get him signed after this season (which may or may not be a guarantee, but I don’t imagine SKA or Salavat breaking the bank for him either). The more you read the Capitals’ blogs and listen to Kuznetsov’s interviews on the Russian media, talking about him constantly working on his game and how he studies the game, the more we know that he is probably that missing piece. A Sidney Crosby-type work ethic with a game like Datsyuk or Malkin (in all three zones), and a Strasburg-esque personal life/demeanor, and overall a team-first and veteran’s mentality (and he’s just 19/20).

    It’s also not necessarily fair to blame everything on Ovechkin, but to me, he’s being paid too much to not have a Ray Lewis-type of fire to lead his team. It doesn’t matter the goals at this point, since he’s 26/27. You can always draft and have a line of scorers going through your system. And you can find scorers, in my opinion from wherever.

    The Capitals have been a hit-or-miss team in the past when it comes drafting. There are some years where they draft very well–like getting Ovechkin and Green, or even Johannson (who’s proven to be very serviceable as a #2 center) or Backstrom, and missed horribly with guys like Pokulok (when Sidney Crosby was available) and Anton Gustaffson (and this is just in the first round), when a Brett Connolly, Peter Mrasty, etc were available.

    But at some point, GMGM and company will get it right when it comes to finding the right mix of players and coaches that where there really is a sense of accountability on the team–(not just said)–and a sense to get better. And also, at the same time, they cannot perform a knee-jerk reaction like the Redskins are known for doing. (And sometimes they have to do under the radar moves, like the ones that local teams like DC United (which, in the pure number of trophies, is the winningest team in the entire area) and the Ravens make that add different dimensions to the team but are cheap, and thus require extensive scouting and knowing “what you are doing” to be able to do.

    Maybe this is a season where the Capitals tank, but they know their fans will help the team be accountable and not be in any danger of leaving them (and thus, make the team–like the Penguins only a few years ago or the Coyotes or Predators, subjects for relocation). They also know that during a partial rebuild (which you can’t necessarily do anymore during the trade deadline because of the rules in play now), the fans will be a lot more educated about hockey and how to properly do the rebuild. It will all work out well in the long run.

    But for the “now”, as a Caps fan, I will pay attention to Twitter to find out what’s happening to them because I know that watching them will put me in a depression–and simply wait for DC United season to kick into full gear.

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