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.”
Over the offseason, former Capital Jason Chimera signed a two-year, $4.5 million contract with the New York Islanders. Wednesday morning, Chimera put on an Isles jersey for the first time and participated in an informal skate with his new teammates.
Please notice thee Ice Cheetah still wore his red, white, and blue Capitals gloves. The feels.
In early July, NHL Network’s Top Shelf dedicated an entire show counting down the oddest plays of the 2015-16 season. Basically, it turned out to be a season review of the Washington Capitals.
Jay Beagle’s miracle diving stick save was named the oddest play of the year.
Let’s review the Caps plays that made the cut.
Last Friday, Jason Chimera was one of the most coveted players on the free agent market, receiving interest from reportedly 17 different teams. At age 37, Chimera was coming off his best season as a pro. Riding a 12.1% shooting percentage, the Ice Cheetah tallied 20 goals and 20 assists while playing in all 82 regular season games. It’s a success story no one would have predicted after Chimera’s struggles — some of which seemed driven by a philosophy clash with Barry Trotz — during the 2014-15 season.
Riding his big year into the sunset, Chimera got a $250k raise from the New York Islanders, signing a two-year, $4.5 million contract on July 1. It ended Chimera’s seven-year tenure in Washington.
With the help of Sean Morrow, we say goodbye to the Ice Cheetah.
Believe it or not, 37-year-old forward Jason Chimera was one of the most popular players on the first day of free agency. According to TVA’s Renaud Lavoie, 17 NHL teams had expressed interest in the Ice Cheetah.
32 minutes after free agency started, HNIC’s Elliotte Friedman announced that Chimera had signed a two-year, $4.5 million contract with the New York Islanders, earning a $250k raise from last season.
At age 36 (he turned 37 three weeks ago) and after 14 years in the NHL, Jason Chimera just had his best season ever. Chimera scored a career-high 20 goals in 2015-16, a stellar performance that will make his likely departure from Washington this summer even more painful. But it must be done.
The Washington Capitals must win their next two games against the Pittsburgh Penguins to keep their Stanley Cup dreams alive. Yet, if you think the players are figuratively drowning in a sea of anxiety, you’d be wrong. So. Very. Wrong.
For example, let’s take a closer look at this post-practice interview with Jason Chimera.
Photo: Rob Carr
After Monday night’s anarchic attempt at a hockey game, the Washington Capitals held a 3-0 series lead. In 180 minutes of hockey, the Philadelphia Flyers took 96 PIMs. Washington’s power play was eight for 17. The Caps, it seemed, were in for a long layover before facing the winner of the Rangers-Penguins series.
“Everything they’ve gotten to a point we’ve given them,” Wayne Simmonds said in the minutes after Game Three ended. “We’ve got to stay out of the box.”
The Flyers have done that the last two games, reducing Washington to five power plays in Games Four and Five. Without that boost, the Caps fell when the series shifted back to Verizon Center Friday night. They outshot the Flyers 44-11 — shot attempts were 82-27 — but lost the special teams battle. Philadelphia had six power plays while Washington’s deadly man-advantage unit was limited to three.
“We were in the box a lot,” Tom Wilson, who did not receive any infractions, said. “Yeah, we had a lot of shots, but we have to do a better job of getting to the interior and staying out of the box. If we play 60 minutes five-on-five, I don’t think you see that team standing up by the end of it.”
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