Sure, he has yet to register a power-play point through seven games, but at 6-foot-3, 213 pounds, Brouwer gives the Capitals the net presence that has been missing.

That's why Brouwer's power-play unit has converted on three of its four scoring chances, while the unit of Backstrom-Laich-Ovechkin-Semin-Green is only one for seven.

Improving the man advantage is nothing new for Brouwer. During his last two years in Chicago, the power-play unit saw more goals per 60 minutes (GF/60) and a better shooting percentage when he was on the ice than it did when he was off it.

SEASON Team GFON/60 GFOFF/60 Sh% On Sh% Off
2009-2010 CHI 7.4 6.5 13.2% 12.6%
2010-2011 CHI 9.1 8.2 17.4% 16.3%
2011-2012 WSH 16.9 5.6 42.9% 13.3%

If Brouwer continues to take up residence in the front of the net, Washington's power play will once again intimidate opposing teams just as it did a few short years ago.

Follow Neil on Twitter: @ngreenberg.