Christian Djoos Keeps Date with Lord Stanley

Christian Djoos has been on the minds of many Caps fans this summer. He played 63 games in his debut season with the Capitals and accrued 14 points (3 goals and 11 assists). The future looks bright for the return of this Swede from Nick Backstrom’s hometown of Gavle.

It only made sense the two would share a day together with the Cup when it was passed on from Andre Burakovsky. Backstrom had plenty of time on his own with the glorious trophy.

Djoos joined Backstrom on Saturday at Gavelrinken Arena to meet with hockey fans who travels brought them to the Stanley Cup. They posed, awkwardly at times, with fans and later signed some autographs.

Like Nick, Christian had his personal time with those closest to him. His father Per played for the Brynas Club and passed that tradition to his son.

Another thing you will notice are the AWESOME “DJ Oos” t-shirts all of the boys donned for the special day!

It was a proud day for this beautiful town to celebrate two of their youth hockey players.

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The Cup has been packed safely away by Nicky and heads to Deutschland and goaltender Philipp Grubauer.

Read more about Djoos here and here!

Its Yours Birthday: Happy Birthday MoJ0

Marcus Johansson turns 26 today!!! The Swede from Landskorna signed a new three-year contract with the Washington Capitals in July 2016. Unfortunately his birthday celebration is somewhat overshadowed by an injury he sustained October 2nd in a preseason game against the Islanders. CBS Sports reports that the left-winger should be good to go come opening night. Continue reading “Its Yours Birthday: Happy Birthday MoJ0”

Andre Burakovsky: The Third Sweet Swede

Burkie

Andre Burakovsky had what many consider a break-out year in the 2015-16 season. It wasn’t clear at the beginning exactly where he would fit in the lineup but Coach Trotz made it clear that he believed in the Caps youngest player and his ability to fit in where ever needed. He played 79 games and ended the season with 38 points (17 goals and 21 assists).

Andre had a bit of a scoring streak starting in late January 2016, recording a goal or more a night for five consecutive games. In 10 games, he notched a point for all but one of those games. Most often he was assisted by Evgeny Kuznetsov. He closed out the season in the ninth spot for overall points- not too shabby for his second year in the NHL.

Personally, we think Burkie’s success began when we first captured this little image of Andre and Tom Wilson on January 17th. It quickly became a ‘thing’ as they posed for us  at home games and fans began to take notice. We think it may have evolved into a pre-game superstition for Burakovsky as he patiently  waited for Tom to skate over for some  hand-holding  because this is when the streak started.

And who could forget the hilarity of a certain broadcasters pronunciation of his last name? It led to lots of friendly tweets for Bear-akovsky fans.

As the youngest player on the team, Burky became one of the favorite players for our lady friends! We saw signs proposing to him. We saw signs asking for pucks. We saw people waiting in the rain outside of Kettler to get his autograph. And always we saw how gracious and friendly his is. He never hesitated to stop for a fan. Even as other players were dodging fans during the playoffs, Andre was out there smiling and posing–even if it meant some ‘interesting’ poses!

We wish Andre the best in the coming season. He has an opportunity to grow more and increase his scoring ability. He is spending the summer in Sweden with friends and family, but also conditioning for the coming year. Another year older – another year wiser!!

Baby Swede All Grown Up

That “bear’ of a Swede, Andre Burakovsky, who turned 21 this past week, started his professional hockey career at the age of 16. He played for the Malmö Red Hawks of Hockey Allsvenskan, Sweden’s second league. In 2012 he was a point per game scorer for the clubs U20 team.

Burt, as Coach Trotz calls him, was invited to Caps training camp in 2013. He signed a three-year entry level contract that September. Spending time in the ECHL (East Coast Hockey League) and World Jr Championships, Burt had 41 goals and 46 assists in 57 games with the Erie Otters. And he recorded 10 goals and three assists in the World Juniors where Sweden lost to Finland in OT, leaving Sweden with the Silver.

Caps training camp once again took place in September 2014, where Andre made the opening night roster and collected his first NHL goal against the Montreal Canadiens.  He split time with the Caps (53 games) and the team’s AHL affiliate Hershey Bears (13 games) during the 2014-2015 season, having several ups and downs–not uncommon for a 19-year old at the NHL level.

This season found Burkie struggling a bit through the first half and finding himself promoted to the second line alongside veteran Justin Williams and stunning Evgeny Kuznetsov. He has had 12 points in the last 11 games. The more comfortable Burt gets with his role on the Caps team, the more he seems to be able to produce. Weather he is getting the puck up the wall to Kuzy and reading the play to be at the right place when Kuzy’s pass is coming; or keeping pressure on the opposing team in their end and shooting more, Burakovsky gives the Capitals a dynamic scoring capability to keep whatever line he is on scoring through post season.

By Mel Abernethy

Photos by Mel Abernethy and Brittney Marcum