WASHINGTON, D.C. – Troy Brouwer has shared a lot with some of his former Chicago Blackhawks teammates.
The Washington Capitals forward didn’t get a chance to catch up with his old buddies entering Friday’s game here; the Caps played in Carolina the previous evening. But they’ll be chatting soon enough.
“I’ve kept in touch with them a little bit but kind of let them do their thing,” he said prior to Friday’s game. “They’re having a good season, playing good hockey. It would’ve been nice to see them but I’ll be back in Chicago at some point in the summer, so I’ll see them then.”
When they do all get together, the Blackhawks could share some 2013-14 postseason stories. Brouwer, however, will not be able to do the same. The Caps were eliminated from the postseason a few days ago, and it’s the first time in Brouwer’s career – be it juniors, AHL or NHL – he will miss the playoffs. For Brouwer, that postseason absence leaves “an empty feeling.”
“We were talking: it was almost like the lockout feeling last year,” Brouwer said. “You know there’s not going to be any hockey past a certain point. All that preparation to get to the Stanley Cup playoffs, and it’s not going to happen.”
It’s been a disappointing season for the Capitals, who are missing the playoffs for the first time since the 2006-07 season. Squandered opportunities hurt Washington this season; the Caps had a seven-game winless streak (0-5-2) in early January and also suffered 13 overtime/shootout losses.
“Those points you don’t get early on in the season, when you don’t necessarily think they’re a huge deal at the time, can become much more crucial at this time of the season,” said Brouwer.
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Brouwer is starting his summer much sooner than he had planned. Some of his former Blackhawks friends will play on, and they’ll all catch up during the summer. In the meantime, Brouwer will be cheering on his buddies.
“I want to see my friends do well, absolutely,” Brouwer said with a laugh. “I owe a lot to that (Blackhawks) organization, bringing me into the NHL and giving me an opportunity to play. You always want to see the guys who helped you a long the way do well and succeed, but I’m a little further removed now, and my own team’s interests are well ahead.”