Andre Burakovsky Practices on Top Line with Backstrom and Oshie


When the Capitals were facing a 3-1 series deficit to the hated Penguins, Barry Trotz had to make an adjustment and he had to make one fast. Trotz opted for a switch in lines, as he moved young left winger Andre Burakovsky to the top line while placing superstar Alex Ovechkin on the third line. People outside of Washington questioned the decision and thought there may be drama within the locker room, but Ovechkin publicly supported the decision, citing he just wanted to beat Pittsburgh. 

And they almost did. Even though the Caps came up short last May, the line adjustment Trotz implemented helped his team push the defending champs to the brink of elimination.

Tuesday morning at Kettler during the red group’s practice session, Caps fans got to once again see this line in action. Perhaps this could be the line Trotz will use to open this season, as he cited that Ovechkin and Backstrom won’t be together.

Burakovsky is poised to have a big season after signing a contract extension over the summer. Let me remind you how this 22-year old fared the last time he was on the top line. Penguins fans, don’t @ me.

Here comes Burakovsky about to take the ice for the final session.

He nearly scores here. To be fair, it’s pretty difficult to score on Braden Holtby anyway.

Once the group changed rinks, the top line got some reps with puck play along the boards. In this particular drill, Trotz or one of his assistants would toss the puck to a different spot on the ice. Wherever it landed, you have to hustle to get to it.

Burakovsky had a sweet curl-and-drag move around a defender but got stopped by Phoenix Copley.

Later on, his fellow linemate T.J. Oshie worked on puck deflections. Perhaps he could assist the young Swede’s shot for a big goal at some point this season.

If this is what the top line will look like, Capitals fans have plenty of reasons to be optimistic.

By Michael Marzzacco

About Michael Marzzacco

Michael is an avid DC sports fan with a passion for writing. He has followed the Washington Capitals since the 2003-04 season, around the time his enthusiasm for DC teams really began. It was from the days when they had the worst record in the league to when they became the most exciting team in the area. His Dad took him to his first Caps game a couple of years later. One of his favorite memories was being in the stands during the 2015 Winter Classic where Troy Brouwer scored the game-winning goal with 12 seconds left. Michael graduated from Radford University in May 2016, earning a degree in journalism and focusing on sports journalism and broadcasting. His goal is to work in sports media in Washington, D.C.
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4 Responses to Andre Burakovsky Practices on Top Line with Backstrom and Oshie

  1. Pingback: Projecting the Caps’ Opening Night Lineup through Week 1 of Training Camp | NoVa Caps

  2. Can’t wait to see what this line can do for a full 82 games


  3. Pingback: With Opening Night Right Around the Corner, Who Will Take the Ice for the Capitals Next Thursday? | NoVa Caps

  4. Pingback: With Opening Night Six Days Away, Who Will Take the Ice for the Capitals Next Thursday? | NoVa Caps

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