The Colorado Avalanche rounded out their regular season by winning the Presidents’ Trophy on Thursday night against the Los Angeles Kings. Collectively as a team, the Avs managed to get the job done with a combination of top-quality performances and, at times, sheer determination to scrap out a victory.
Many have contributed in this period, but the player that has really caught my eye recently has been Andre Burakovsky. He has impressed with the manner of his performances, but also with the timing, stepping up when Nathan MacKinnon was out of the lineup.
And Andre Burakovsky with his perfect shot. AVALANCHE GOAL. #GoAvsGo
— The Rink — Colorado (@TheRinkColorado) May 14, 2021
As we go into the postseason, whoever plays Colorado will focus on the top line and try to shut it down. If they have success, which is, of course, not easy, the Avalanche will need secondary scoring to have success.
This is where Burakovsky is hopefully going to come through and shine.
A hot streak in May
During the month of May, a tussle for the West Division title has given Jared Bednar’s team something to play for in every game. In eight games during the month, Burakovsky has scored five goals and added seven assists for 12 points.
It is not just on the scoreboard where the 26-year-old has impressed; the underlying stats have been excellent, too. The chances were not as good on Thursday night, but on Wednesday against Los Angeles, Burakovsky was on the ice when the Avs created eight high-danger scoring chances for, and had just one against them.
In Vegas on Monday, when many players struggled in the game, the numbers for Burakovsky were still excellent. He was on the ice for seven high-danger chances, while the team gave up just one to Vegas when he was out there.
Stats of course are not everything, but in conjunction with how good the winger has looked to the eye, it gives a full picture of just how good he has been playing recently.
— p – Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) May 14, 2021
The importance of secondary scoring in the playoffs
We have seen over the years that goals in the playoffs can come from the most unlikely sources. The top line will be expected to carry the load, but cannot be relied upon for everything, especially if MacKinnon is not fully healthy, which seems up in the air.
Players farther down the lineup will need to contribute and take the pressure off the big guns, and coming in hot, expect Burakovsky to be one of the main players in this area.
Two seasons with a 30-goal pace
This is the second season for Burakovsky with the Avalanche, and in both of them he has played 50-plus games. He played 58 last season, and scored 20 goals; he played 53 this season and ended with 19.
Both seasons put him on pace for a 30-goal season across a full 82-game season, an excellent return for a player on the second line.
Last season in the playoffs, Burakovsky played 15 games and registered seven goals and 10 assists for 17 total points. The Avs would love a similar pace from him this postseason.