Colorado Avalanche forward Andre Burakovsky sits in front of reporters on Stanley Cup Final media day, finding himself in the midst of somewhat familiar territory. It was just four years ago that Burakovsky was celebrating his first-ever Stanley Cup with the Washington Capitals. And now, he’s four wins away from winning it all again for the second time in his career.
While he holds those old memories close, No. 95 is focused on the here and now as he and Colorado prepare for a rough-and-tumble showdown with the back-to-back champion Tampa Bay Lightning.
“Yeah, it’s definitely good feeling to be back in Final,” Burakovksy said at media day. “I mean, doesn’t happen too often and doesn’t happen for everyone. So I’m really excited to be back, especially with this team. I think we’ve been really successful for the previous years here and I think the progress we’ve been going through as a group has been really good.”
Burakovsky is no stranger to Tampa or the SCF. His two goals against the Lightning in Game 7 of the 2018 Eastern Conference Finals ultimately led the Capitals to their second-ever Stanley Cup Final appearance, where they then defeated Vegas in five games for the title. However, that’s all in the rear view for Burakovsky, who is staying focused on what this club has to do against this current Bolts club.
“I think we just to write our own story. I’m not looking back too much on what we did to be able to win,” Burakovsky said. “This is a new group, a new organization and we have to write our own story.”
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Burakovsky is in his third year with the Avalanche following his trade from Washington in 2019. The 27-year-old set a new career-high in the regular season with 22 goals and 39 assists in 80 games. The playoffs have told a bit of a different story. Burakovsky has struggled at times and has just a goal and four assists through 10 games. He has also been a scratch and dealt with an injury following a shot block. Still, he said he is feeling good and ready to make an impact.
“Just work hard. Get ready, prepare yourself. Do everything it takes to get in there and do the job right,” Burakovsky said.
When it comes to winning the next four games and giving the Avs their first title since 2001, Burakovsky added that the team has to also block out the outside noise and stay on message.
“I think that we just have to put our focus on our group. We’re not going to focus on the outside. We’re not the favourites or the underdog or anything like that. I think we’re here to play our own game and find our own success,” Burakovsky said, adding, “Not try to focus too much not the outside things we can’t control. We know what we can do as a group this whole season and especially in the playoff here that we have what it takes to win.
“[The Lightning] have world-class players,” the Swede added. “They have a very deep team. We can’t focus too much on their guys. If we play our game and shut down their best players just like we did against Edmonton, we have a good chance here.”