Photo: Patrick Smith
Andre Burakovsky was one the Caps’ most effective and productive forwards in 2014-15 when he was given the chance to produce. Expectations were high for the Austrian-born Swedish winger entering this season with many people, including myself, expecting great things. And then, nothing happened. Literally, nothing happened. Burakovsky had been invisible for long stretches of games this season, going 25 games without a goal between October 23 and December 30.
When Burakovsky scored on December 30, nothing ceased happening and everything began to happen. That is, the Burakovsky of 2014-15 re-emerged to remind us all to not forget about Dre. In the 12 games since then, and especially in the 10 games since his promotion to the second line, young Dre has shown an increase in confidence and production that leaves reason to believe the dynamic player from last season might be a reliable offensive weapon moving forward in 2015-16.
Here’s a look at Burakovsky’s numbers last season compared to two segments of time this season: Prior to December 30 and from Decemeber 30 forward. While the cutoff time may seem a bit arbitrary, this was the game that Burakovsky broke out of his slump.
|Last Season||Before Dec 30||Since Dec 30|
|Individual Shot Attempts/60||12.7||12.6||15.4|
|Individual Scoring Chances/60||5.2||6||8.6|
Some notes on the the table:
It’s safe to say that Burakovsky has looked like a different player for the past 12 games. He’s racked up five goals and six assists in that time after tallying only two goals and six assists in the previous 32 games. The past 12 games have been his most consistent and productive run of play this season, and maybe his best as a pro. He’s been more creative, decisive, and crisp with the puck, and he’s been unleashing his lethal wrist shot more often, for example in the Caps recent game against the Flyers.
The Caps enter the John Scott Game break having steamrolled the entire league for the first 47 games. And now, one of their most dangerous weapons, who lay dormant for much of the first half, appears to have awoken. Good luck, NHL.
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