After Andre Burakovsky had stayed on the ice longer than his teammates, again informed he would be scratched for Monday night’s game against the Edmonton Oilers, Capitals Coach Barry Trotz had a talk with his 20-year-old winger.
With Stanislav Galiev having not played in an NHL game since the first week of the regular season, Trotz acknowledged that he needed to get him into the lineup. Burakovsky was surprised that he was the player forced out because he thought his play had started to turn around recently. But Trotz had pointed to his point production, or lack thereof: one point in his last 11 games.
Trotz said Burakovsky’s press box visits will be limited, as he expects him to be in the lineup again “shortly.”
“But I want him to do a couple things today and tomorrow to sort of get his head in the right spot,” Trotz said. “We had a good talk, and he should be ready to go. He’s a good player for us and he’s a long-term future player for us. We’re just going to make sure we do all of the right things, so he’s not taking a step back because we sort of plateaued here.”
Burakovsky had five points in the first seven games, but then he endured an eight-game stretch without a point. In the midst of that, Trotz moved him up to the second line, gifting him with more minutes and more skilled linemates to snap out of the slump.
“The one thing players, especially young players, don’t understand is that it is a privilege to play in the National Hockey League,” Trotz said. “It’s a privilege to be in the lineup. It’s not a right. Sometimes, they feel it’s a right, and I’m not saying Andre does, but I’m just saying young players do.”
Trotz said he was happy with how Galiev played against the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday night, his first NHL game since Oct. 15, which is in part why he rewarded him with a second game.
“I thought he was pretty productive,” Trotz said. “He had some good looks. I think he helped our second power play, and I thought that Beagle line was pretty effective actually with him playing there. He did a good job coming in.”
Here’s the expected Capitals lineup for Monday night’s game against Edmonton:
Alex Ovechkin-Nicklas Backstrom-T.J. Oshie
Marcus Johansson-Evgeny Kuznetsov-Justin Williams
Jason Chimera-Jay Beagle-Stanislav Galiev
Brooks Laich-Michael Latta-Tom Wilson
Nate Schmidt-John Carlson
Karl Alzner-Matt Niskanen
Dmitry Orlov-Taylor Chorney
Brooks Orpik (lower-body injury)