Coach Barry Trotz indicated that Andre Burakovsky’s benching wouldn’t last long.
And it didn’t.
The 23-year-old winger will return to the lineup on Monday night as the Caps look to stave off elimination in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final.
During the morning skate, Burakovsky skated on the third line with Lars Eller and Brett Connolly—a trio that’s enjoyed some success in the past.
#Caps morning skate lines ahead of Game 6:— Tarik El-Bashir (@Tarik_ElBashir) May 21, 2018
So Burakovsky returns after sitting out one game as a healthy scratch.
It’s been a difficult postseason for Burakovsky, who has not recorded a point in six games. He missed 10 contests after suffering a hand injury in Game 2 of the first round that required minor surgery.
What he found out upon returning was this: coming back from injury in the regular season is hard...and it’s exponentially tougher in the playoffs.
“It’s definitely tough to jump in in the semifinal,” he said. “When you’re out, you just want to get in and help the team and do what you’re good at—score goals and produce.”
“What I realized is that it’s not that easy,” he added. “I really thought I could jump in and just play like I did before I got injured.
But obviously it didn’t work out as well I thought it would.”
Burakovsky also said that he’s planning to work with a sports psychologist this summer in an effort to maintain an even keel when things aren’t going as well as he would like. It’s a problem that he said he’s struggled with since his childhood.
“I’ve always been really, really hard on myself. ...It’s kind of my problem.” — Andre Burakovsky, who added that he plans to work with a sports psychologist this summer. #ALLCAPS pic.twitter.com/5WHsUEOJFE— Tarik El-Bashir (@Tarik_ElBashir) May 21, 2018
Asked what he hopes to see from Burakovsky in Game 6, Coach Barry Trotz kept it simple: offense.
The Caps have scored just two goals in each of the last three games, with Evgeny Kuznetsov contributing 50-percent of that total.
“He’s a guy that’s given us some good offense all through his time here,” Trotz said of Burakovsky. “We think that he can add some of that.”
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