It almost didn’t go in. Brouwer took a couple of whacks at it that he whiffed on and actually appeared to try and kick it in at one point. Finally, on the third try, he buried the puck into an open net to give the Blues a 3-2 lead they wouldn’t look back from.
His reaction on the bench says it all:
After the game, Darren Pang interviewed Brouwer on the ice in front of the celebratory home crowd. Brouwer, who still has a losing record in Game 7s in his career, was hilariously honest with what he would have done had he missed the gaping net.
“That was almost really embarrassing. If I would’ve missed that one, I might’ve quit hockey.”
Blues coach Ken Hitchcock was at the centre of criticism as the Hawks clawed back into the series to force Game 7 because Brouwer was getting more minutes than star scorer Vladimir Tarasenko. The Russian scored four goals in the series, while Brouwer notched his first on this wonky Game 7 play.
Tarasenko played the eighth-most minutes among Blues forwards in Game 7, nearly four fewer than Brouwer. Had the grinder not scored on this play and the Hawks got lucky at the other end, Ken Hitchcock would have had a bad Tuesday.