On Friday, the Washington Capitals spoke with the media for one final time this season after a crushing 4-3 double-overtime loss to the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 7 of the First Round series in the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Wednesday. Forward Andre Burakovsky said it was a “tough ending” for the Capitals and it was not the way they wanted it to end. In addition, he discussed his production on the ice and the possible future in Washington.
According to the young left winger, he has felt “pretty good” about his game in the Stanley Cup Playoffs but could have done more. Burakovsky excelled in the final few games of the Capitals’ postseason run such as continuing to skate and move, maintaining consistency, and managing the puck on the board. As a team, Burakovsky added that they could have done more than what they did.
Burakovsky is a restricted free agent, who wants to stay with the Capitals. He mentioned multiple times that he loves D.C., his teammates, and the organization. “My goal is to stay and be here next year.,” he told the media. He has yet to speak with the team about his future.
The forward had ups and downs throughout the season. Burakovsky was switched between the third line and fourth line a majority of the year and was a healthy scratch at times. In his fifth season with the Capitals, Burakovsky “wants to be more consistent,” but is learning a lot to stay on the right path and continuing to work with his mental coach.
When inquired about the trade rumors from this season, he replied that it is “in your head, but you try not to think about it.” After the NHL Trade Deadline on February 25, Burakovsky became more successful as he found his confidence and game again. The past two months were his best of the season as the production increased.
He commented, “I am taking steps in the right direction.” Burakovsky did not focus so much the number of goals, assists, and points, yet appreciated the little things that add up in the games like getting better in the defensive zone and puck management.
Burakovsky had 25 points (12 goals) in the regular season and two points (one goal) in the Capitals’ Stanley Cup Playoff run. His goal came during the 4-3 loss in Game 7.
By Della Young