The Washington Capitals will be in Denver later today ahead of their nationally televised game Thursday with the Colorado Avalanche.
The matchup pits two of the NHL’s best teams against each other. The Capitals have led the league in standings points for most of the year (now they sit third with 77) while the Avalanche (72) are second-best in the Western Conference. But even more important, the game also reunites two longtime roommates and Stanley Cup champions in Tom Wilson and Andre Burakovsky.
Reporters caught up with Wilson this morning and the Capitals forward was adamant a hangout was going to happen. “I haven’t texted him yet but he better clear his schedule,” Wilson said according to The Athletic’s Tarik El-Bashir.
Tom Wilson says he plans to meet up with old pal Andre Burakovsky tonight in COL. “I haven’t texted him yet but he better clear his schedule.” #Caps
— Tarik El-Bashir (@Tarik_ElBashir) February 12, 2020
Wilson added that they’d go out instead of having Burakovsky cook at home. “I want to play tomorrow,” he joked.
Then added that he’d feel better if Burakovsky took him out for dinner rather than cooked for him
“I want to play tomorrow” https://t.co/W6O6QCIpqg
— Ben Raby (@BenRaby31) February 12, 2020
In the Capitals and Avalanche’s previous meeting in October, Burakovsky and Wilson shared a laugh during the opening faceoff while lined up against each other.
— b. (@youripides) October 14, 2019
“I’m not backing down from a challenge,” Burakovsky said. “We had our fights when we were living together and stuff. I didn’t back out then, so I’m not going to do it now either.”
Former Capital Michael Latta, who lived with the two players, confirmed the “fights” in a 2015 interview with me. “They’re always wrestling,” he said, comparing Wilson and Burakovsky’s friendship to more of an older-brother-little-brother type of relationship.
Despite constantly antagonizing each other, the pair had much success together, winning a Stanley Cup together. Over the summer, the Capitals dealt Burakovsky to the Colorado Avalanche for draft picks and cap space, acquiescing on a trade request the Swedish forward made during the winter.
“The memories with that guy will be forever,” Wilson told El-Bashir. “I was saying to my girlfriend, ‘Who am I going to go to dinner with on the road?’
“There are definitely guys who are teammates and you’re friends with, but you move on, you lose touch,” Wilson added. “But Burky was a best buddy. So it sucks when that happens.”
Burakovsky has gone on to have a career year with the Avalanche in a top-six role. Burkie is nearly a point-per-game player, scoring 17 goals and tallying a career-high 41 points in 52 games. He recently had his first four-point night in the NHL.
That’s awesome. Just please don’t feed Tom your most complicated dish, macaroni and cheese, Andre.
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