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The Afternoon Narrative: Breakout Burky, Big Gun Buy-In and Lucky Sevens

Three things we’re talking about this afternoon when we’re talking about the Caps

Photo by Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images

1. This morning, we noted that, “[i]f the hockey world didn’t know who Andre Burakovsky was before last night, they sure do now.” Let’s elaborate.

Per Corsica, Burakovsky currently leads all skaters in the playoffs who have played more than 50 minutes at five-on-five in score- and venue-adjusted Corsi-For percentage (66.2) and Corsi-For per 60 (86.0), and the Caps have outscored opponents 8-3 with Burakovsky on the ice at fives. In the current series, that CF% spikes to 71.4, the pace to 95.6 and the goal differential to 5-0 (three of which he himself has scored, and another on which he had the primary assist). In other words...

Burakovsky has back-to-back multi-point efforts and as many goals in his last two games (three) as in his first 33 career playoff games. Yowza.

And he’s making his coach look pretty good...

2. As for the other piece of that line juggling - Alex Ovechkin - he’s also responded well to the change. His minutes may be down, but he’s still creating offense:

5v5, score- and venue-adjusted data, via Corsica

Team-highs in shot attempts and scoring chances and so on... playing alongside Lars Eller and Tom Wilson.

As important, Ovechkin is focused on what matters:

We’ve heard a lot about Ovechkin and “buy-in” under Trotz, and if this switch-up in lines results in a Caps’ comeback win in this series, you can bet you’ll be hearing even more about how Alex Ovechkin now cares more about winning than his individual stats... as if that has ever not been the case.

3. Bah Gawd! That’s Justin Williams’ music!