In 2014, Andre Burakovsky came into the league as a 19-year-old rookie from Sweden. Out of training camp, he won a job as the Washington Capitals’ second line center due to his skill and speed. But before the new year, he was playing for the Hershey Bears, demoted to Washington’s farm club after a string of healthy scratches and games on the forth line. Burakovsky eventually made it back up to the Capitals, but continued to see time in the press box. Last season, Burakovsky began the season on the power play, but lost his job after another poor start, scoring two goals in his first 32 games.
“I knew this was going to be a tough league but I didn’t expect it to be that tough every single game,” Burakovsky said Monday. “If you’re not prepared the proper way and you’re not there 100 percent, you will have a really tough game.”
The brobeans (minus one — *sob*) are at it again.
In the Capitals’ monthly playbook, Breakaway, Andre Burakovsky answered 10 random questions about sports, teammates, and cars, and the answers are nothing short of entertaining. In no particular order, let’s first take a look at some of these responses.
Washington Capitals forward Andre Burakovsky scored 14 goals after New Years last season in 45 games, good for nearly 30 goals at an 82 game pace. He did this all without being a regular on the power play and playing just over 14 minutes a game. Now he’s likely got get a renewed chance at racking up points on the man-advantage. Last season only one of his 17 goals came on the power play. He finished second in even-strength goals, behind only 50-goal scorer and Rocket Richard winner Alex Ovechkin.
Burakovsky, 21, started the season on the power play, but lost his spot to Jason Chimera, who had four PP goals and five PP assists, after 14 games due a poor start, which included time in the press box. In Burakovsky’s first 32 games of the 2015-16 campaign, he had just two goals and six assists.
“In the beginning you just want to do everything so properly and the right way,” Burakovsky said of first full season in the NHL. “[I] was trying to bring everything full speed. Sometimes you just slow down the game and think a little bit more than you act. That was kinda what I did at the end [of last season] there. When I had the puck I felt more comfortable. I could hold it a little bit more and find an open lane for my teammates. I think it worked out pretty good for me.”
If you just can’t wait until the Capitals start their training camp Sept. 23 to get your fix of brobeans and cinnamon rolls, you’re in luck. Five Caps players will man the grill in a promotion for the new Nando’s Peri-Peri opening near Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Ballston on Saturday.
Andre Burakovsky, Lars Eller, Stan Galiev, Nate Schmidt, and Tom Wilson will appear at the new restaurant between noon and 7 p.m. Saturday, along with Capitals alumnus Paul Mulvey, Red Rockers, Caps public address announcer Wes Johnson, Elliot Segal, and Craig and Courtney Laughlin.
Over the last week, we’ve been hit with an influx of cute babies from our Swedish Caps. Nicklas Backstrom’s wife gave birth to the couple’s second child Vince on August 22, and Marcus Johannsson has bombarded his Instagram with photos of his baby daughter Mila.
Tuesday, we completed the Swedish baby trifecta with Andre Burakovsky announcing on Twitter he too has a little one of his own. Only his baby has four legs, not two.
While you were watching the D.C. Eagle cam hoping to catch of glimpse of some very American cinnamon rolls, two of your favorite Caps cinnamon rolls — brobeans Andre Burakovsky and Tom Wilson — were participating in the latest social media craze: face swapping.
In the picture above, which the Caps shared via something called “Snapchat” and also Twitter (“thanks,” said the olds), you’ll see Willy Baby’s face on Dre’s body, and Burky’s face on Tommy’s body.
Katie Brown captured Dre’s commentary from inside the locker room:
Everyone’s favorite Caps roommates, Tom Wilson and Michael Latta, and former roommate and forever brobean Andre Burakovsky, are spending the All-Star break soaking up the sun in the Bahamas.
By the looks of this photo Wilson posted on Instagram today, they’re enjoying some (virgin, no doubt) piña coladas, ab crunches and getting behind on their chest shaving schedules. Wilson captioned the post, “Good vibes good friends ☀️ #bahamatings“
Photo: Patrick Smith
Andre Burakovsky was one the Caps’ most effective and productive forwards in 2014-15 when he was given the chance to produce. Expectations were high for the Austrian-born Swedish winger entering this season with many people, including myself, expecting great things. And then, nothing happened. Literally, nothing happened. Burakovsky had been invisible for long stretches of games this season, going 25 games without a goal between October 23 and December 30.
When Burakovsky scored on December 30, nothing ceased happening and everything began to happen. That is, the Burakovsky of 2014-15 re-emerged to remind us all to not forget about Dre. In the 12 games since then, and especially in the 10 games since his promotion to the second line, young Dre has shown an increase in confidence and production that leaves reason to believe the dynamic player from last season might be a reliable offensive weapon moving forward in 2015-16.
Photo: Amanda Bowen
Let me be clear: I don’t care about the preseason of any sport, not even hockey. Takeaways from preseason are often worthless, for a wide variety of reasons. Intersquad scrimmages are even further down the ladder of things we should care about and read into. And, considering line combinations aren’t worth getting worked up about on a day-to-day basis during the season, no one should read much into lines from a scrimmage at training camp.
But let’s do it anyway.
Andre Burakovsky and Connor McDavid (Photo credit: Glenn Gervais)
Riley Barber wasn’t the only Capitals prospect to have a great Saturday. Andre Burakovsky of the Erie Otters recorded four points, two goals and two assists, in his team’s 7-1 blowout over the Mississauga Steelheads, concluding a big week for Erie during which they won three games and outscored opponents 19 to 5.
Burakovsky’s 37 points in 26 games are good for sixth in points among players under nineteen years of age. His 19 goals lead the age group.
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