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The Noon Number: What's Not to Laich About the New Lines?

A look at Nicklas Backstrom's new wingers and their historical performance together

Greg Fiume

4 - Number of goals on which both Troy Brouwer and Brooks Laich have earned a point in more than 695 minutes of skating together five-on-five. The four goals have all been even-strength Brouwer tallies (two - including the hat trick goal into an empty net against Tampa - on January 13, 2012, one on February 28th of that year and the fourth on March 21, 2013), and have come while the pair have posted poor possession numbers when together, metrics which have cratered this year: the Caps have been responsible for only 43.4% of the unblocked shot attempts taken while the two have been on the ice together at fives this season (something we've documented before once or twice).

Despite this history, expect to see Brouwer and Laich flanking Nicklas Backstrom on the Caps' second line tomorrow in Tampa, if Adam Oates's current practice lines are any indication... and hope for the best.