Andre Burakovsky will return to the Capitals’ lineup tonight against the Winnipeg Jets (6:30 pregame, CSN) with the intent of showing he should have never come out.
“Obviously, it’s never fun to sit out but I’m back and I can prove I don’t belong in the stands,” Burakovsky said. “I just want to be out there on a top line soon.”
Burakovsky, 20, will play on a third line with center Jay Beagle and left wing Jason Chimera when the Caps take on the 10-10-2 Jets. He’ll replace Stan Galiev.
In 18 games this season Burakovsky has two goals, four assists, four penalty minutes and a minus-3 rating. When he removed him from the lineup Capitals head coach Barry Trotz said he wanted Burakovsky to clear his head.
“He’s working with one of our coaches we hired to sort of out things in compartments and deal with what he needs to deal with in his career,” said Trotz, who said he likes the idea of having another person for players to speak with.
“I know a conversation I’d have with a player if I ran into him at Starbucks would be a little different than in my office,” Trotz said. “Sometimes those offsite (meetings) – hey, let’s go for a coffee – are more meaningful than the ones when you pull a guy into your office and you’re saying, ‘I need you to do this.’
“It’s a different tone and a different way of doing it and sometimes you get better results. Everybody learns differently, everybody’s wired differently.”
Burakovsky said playing alongside north-south players like Beagle and Chimera should simplify his game.
“I need to get hard to the net, play a little heavier game,” he said. “I think skating wise and how I’ve been handling the puck has been really good. Just a couple small details with our system I need to be sharper on.”
No Orpik: Caps defenseman Brooks Orpik has not played since Nov. 10 and has not skated since Nov. 18 but Trotz continues to say his lower body injury is “nothing serious.”
“Obviously, it’s just not coming around as quick as we’d like,” Trotz said. “At the same time we’re in no hurry to get him back playing. If we can get him healthy then he’ll be fine.”
Share the Orlov: Despite two goals in his last two games, Caps defenseman Dmitry Orlov saw a season-low 10:27 of ice time in the Caps’ 1-0 win over the Edmonton Oilers Monday night.
“Obviously, he’s feeling it with the puck,” Trotz said. “I’d like him not to feel it through the neutral zone as much, but in the offensive zone he’s feeling the puck and that’s a good thing.”