The NHL trade deadline passed in February without the Capitals moving Andre Burakovsky off the roster, much to the surprise of many fans and media outlets. For whatever reason, the Caps kept him in the lineup while sending playoff star Devante Smith-Pelly down to Hershey and the AHL. So did they make the right choice sticking with Burky?
Burakovsky seems to have bounced back after the trade deadline passed- he was first on the score board for the Caps on Friday night in New Jersey! Prior to February 25, 2019 the Swedish forwards’ play was inconsistent as he bounced around the lines, spending most of his time on the underperforming fourth line–or the bench. He only had 19 points- with seven of those being goals. Since then he has added four points (three goals) in five games. And he is getting a bit more ice time again and a key piece of a strategy that has given the Capitals six wins in a row.
On March 6th in Philadelphia, Burky scored short-side that forced the Flyers to pull their goalie in an effort to stop the onslaught of the Capitals. It was then that it became apparent that the Burakovsky we expected much from had indeed returned.
It appears as though the trio of Nic Dowd and Travis Boyd with Andre is working for Coach Todd Reirden. He has the energy we saw before he suffered some injuries the past two seasons. There is no denying that he is playing for a new contract come the summer. We want to see more shot attempts going forward and real consistency in his handling of the puck. Let’s hope the surge lasts all the way through the playoffs!