Thursday morning, Travis Boyd was demoted and Tyler Graovac was placed on waivers to create the roster flexibility and cap space to bring Andre Burakovsky back. The Burracuda, who suffered a fractured left thumb against the Florida Panthers, has been out since October 21.
But after some one-armed pushups and some intense training at Camp Nemo (workouts with strength and conditioning coach Mark Nemish), Burky looks to return Friday night against the New York Rangers – a mere six weeks and six days since getting injured.
At least, that’s what the “words on the street” are.
“Just in practice today you could see the chemistry between us three—it’s still there.” —Andre Burakovsky on playing on a line with Lars Eller and Brett Connolly. pic.twitter.com/LESYctbY7j
— Tarik El-Bashir (@TarikNBCS) December 7, 2017
“Yeah, it’s the words on the street,” Burakovsky joked, butchering the idiomatic phrase. “Talked to Barry. I’m here to go. He told me I could play next game. I was hoping maybe the game before, but I need a couple more practices in.
“I haven’t been skating with pucks and shooting for a while,” Burakovsky continued. “My game timing, I mean, my first practice was really off. When we were doing two-on-ones I was far behind and went offside once and I wasn’t great. The last few practices have been really good. I’ve been feeling really good, skating good, stick-handling/shooting really well. I told him I feel like I’m ready and he said yeah I could play Friday. I’m excited. It’s going to be fun.”
Burakovsky isn’t suiting up tonight against the #Blackhawks but he’s getting close. He’s battling hard this morning with Graovac and Chorney, both of whom are also out. #Caps pic.twitter.com/8N7jgYNmio
— Tarik El-Bashir (@TarikNBCS) December 6, 2017
“He’s going to be activated for the game tomorrow,” Trotz confirmed after practice. “Because of that activation and the reality of the salary cap, we had to send two players out.”
Burakovsky spent most of last season skating with Lars Eller and Brett Connolly on the third line, and it appears he will lace up with them once against New York.
“Just look at last year. We had a good run. We scored a lot of goals. We were really productive in their end,” Burakovsky said. “Then I got hurt, then in the playoffs we didn’t play as much together anymore. Just in the practice today, you can see the chemistry between us three. It’s still there. I’m excited to get back in the game with them.”
Burakovsky had four points in nine games before his long stint on the injured reserve.
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