Sometimes desperate times force coaches to lean on talented young players more than the trusty, comfortable old hands they’re more comfortable with. That may be the case, to some extent, with Andre Burakovsky making his playoff debut for the Washington Capitals in Game 4.
The 20-year-old showed flashes of brilliance during 53 games of regular season action at the NHL level, scoring nine goals and 22 points with a +12 rating. One got the sense that head coach Barry Trotz and the rest of the Caps’ management group wanted to bring such a young player along incrementally, though.
Burakovsky believes that getting a few games in toward the end of the season will be useful.
“The last couple of games I played, I felt really good,” Burakovsky said. “I think I created chances and my legs were feeling really good. I had good speed. I just need to bring [the way I played] my last three games into the playoffs here and do what I’m doing good. I’m going to use my speed and try to create a lot of chances for the team. Hopefully I’m going to get in do a little bit different and get a win here next game. But I’m really excited to get into my first NHL playoff game.”
Considering his talent, Capitals fans should be excited that he’s getting into the lineup.
Update: Speaking of Washington’s lineup, it looks like Curtis Glencross is out of it as a healthy scratch.