First and foremost, it’s just four games. The season is just getting started, so any detailed analysis at this point falls under the “small sample size” category. Having said that, a familiar story is beginning to develop at the start of this season for Andre Burakovsky and the Washington Capitals.
Andre Burakovsky is off to another slow start. In fact, his ice time has been gradually reduced after opening night, now ranging in totals normally seen for fourth line players. (Andre is not a fourth line player) Additionally, Burakovsky hasn’t registered a shot on goal since opening night.
Here are Burakovsky’s Time on Ice (TOI) and Shots On Goal (SOG) totals through the first four games of the season:
Andre Burakovsky’s TOI and SOG’s through the first four games of the season:
Boston Bruins – TOI 14:04 – SOG – 2
At Pittsburgh Penguins – TOI 10:16 – SOG 0
Vegas Golden Knights – TOI 10:26 – SOG 0
At New Jersey Devils – TOI 10:55 – SOG 0#ALLCAPS
— NoVa Caps (@NoVa_Caps) October 12, 2018
Burakovsky had just 2:55 of ice time after one period Thursday night in Newark, the least amount of ice time for all Capitals. That’s less than fourth line minutes, and entering “press box” minutes.
So, is this just another quiet stretch for Burakovsky, or has something changed under new Capitals new bench boss Todd Reirden? The next few games will certainly add context to the situation. Something has to change.
For the folks that like to keep an eye on stats during a game, keep an eye on Andre’s TOI against Toronto Saturday night, particularly his first period minutes. Reirden has reduced Burkovsky’s first period ice time to just a few minutes in the last two games, but has used him more in the middle period.
By Jon Sorensen