We just want to write our own story.

With 7:37 remaining in Game 5 of the 2018 Stanley Cup Final, Lars Eller scored the championship-winning goal for the Washington Capitals.

But the person who received the secondary assistance in this number, who arguably happened, is often not remembered. Andrei Burakovsky, in his only fourth year as an NHL professional, created Brett Connolly for a one-timer on the right circle. Eller, right in the spot on the right, found the exposed disc just outside of Marc-Andre Fleury’s napkins and dipped it in the house.

Four years later, Burakowski made his ticket back to the NHL Championship Series after his new team, the Colorado Avalanches, swept the Edmonton Oilers in the Western Conference final. And Burke did so as one of the most dynamic strikers in the avalanche.

Burakowski set his career highs during the 2021-22 season in goals (22), assists (39), points (61), and shots (149) while skating exclusively on the team’s top two streaks. Burakowski mainly shared the ice with stars such as Nazim Kadri (552:16 minutes), Nathan Makinnon (305:10 minutes) and Mikko Rantanen (299:45) in five of five.

Although Burakovsky was only 27 years old, he was one of only four Avalanche players to have played in a championship before, joining Darren Helm (DET, 2008 and 2009), Andrew Cogliano (DAL 2020), and Arturi Likonen (MTL). , 2021). Burakowski and Helm (2008) are the only Avs players who have actually carved their name into the Stanley Cup.

“It definitely feels good to be back in the final,” Burakowski said. “I mean it doesn’t happen often and it doesn’t happen to everyone. I’m really excited to be back, especially with this team. I think we’ve been really successful in the previous years here and I think the progress we’ve made as a group has been really good.

“I think we just want to write our own story,” he added. “I don’t often remember what we did so we could win. This is a new group and a new organization. We will start writing our own story here.”

While Burakowski hopes to form new memories with the Avs, his past in Washington is always present no matter how much he tries to escape from it. While speaking to the media on Stanley Cup Media Day on Tuesday, Burakowski sat next to a photo of his former teammate Alex Ovechkin raising the Stanley Cup over his head.

Burakowski was a sixth-ranked striker in Team Capitals and eventually requested a deal after he was unable to secure a higher place in the squad. Capitals, Managing Director, Brian McClellan, replaced Burakowski in the avalanche of summer 2019 for a draft pick. The move was the best thing for Burke as he scored an average of 21 goals for Colorado. In his previous three years with Washington, Burakovsky scored 12 goals three times in a row.

Wednesday, Avalanche in Burakowski will face the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2022 Stanley Cup Final. The series begins at Denver’s Ball Arena and is likely to be a tough job for the Avs. The Lightning has won the Stanley Cup in a row and 11 consecutive post-season series. Bolts continued this massive rip after losing to the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round of the 2019 playoffs and the Capitals in the Eastern Conference Final in ’18. The Lightning Championship core remained unchanged with attacking stars Nikita Kucherov, Brayden Point and Stephen Stamkos; defense shutdown in Victor Hedman; And world goalkeeper Andrei Vasilevsky, who is looking forward to winning his second Con Smith Cup in a row.

Avalanche is 160 favorites to win the cup though. Colorado swept two of their three series so far in the 2022 playoffs and only played two more games than they needed to (six-game series, second round against St. Louis).

“I think we just have to focus on our group,” Burakowski said. “We’re not going to focus on the outside that we’re the favourites or the underdogs or things like that. We’re here to play our game, find our success. Don’t try to focus so much on the outside on things we can’t control. We know the things we can do. We’ve shown in previous years and this The whole season, and especially the intervening year, that we have what it takes to win. We just have to take her out in this series as well.

“They have a very deep team,” Burakowski added. “We can’t focus too much on their guys. If we play our game and lock down their best players, just like we did against Edmonton, we have a good chance here. We are just focusing on our game on what we can control and our results and I think we have a good chance of winning. To have some players. Really good starters, it makes a difference, but we have to play them hard and keep them strong.”

Burakowski, who blocked a nurse Darnell’s shot with his leg during Game One of the Western Conference Final, has played in only two of the Avs’ four games against the Oilers and made one assist. As the avalanche swept through Edmonton, the team got more than a week off. Burakovsky now thinks he’s healthy again.

“I felt very good on the ice,” Burakowski said of Monday’s practice. “We’ve been doing well, doing a lot of therapy and making progress.”

If the Avs are to beat Tampa, they will likely need more attack from Burakovsky who has scored just one goal in 10 games this year. But Burakowski could draw on a wealth of experience that includes his two-goal performance in Game Seven of the 2018 Eastern Conference Final that eliminated Lightning.

“I think we have a really good chance with this team.”

Screenshot: NHL.com/Avalanche

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