Video: Nicklas Backstrom Skates for Fifth Straight Day

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With the Capitals spending their St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago (and its ludicrous dyed-green river), news from Kettler is almost non-existent. Thankfully, our boy Dave provides the skinny on Nick Backstrom, who continues to skate on his own.

Follow us past the jump for videos of Backstrom looking good, taking laps and firing shots.

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Traktor’s director Vladimir Krechin. (Photo credit: Traktor’s official website)

For a few weeks now the saga of Evgeny Kuznetsov has been dominating the hearts and minds of Caps fans. The question being, where will Kuzya be playing next year? Is he going to join the NHL team that selected him in the first round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft? Will he stay true to his home town and remain a Traktorist for another season? Or will he prefer the greener pastures of another KHL club, perhaps a powerhouse like SKA St. Petersburg or even one of Traktor’s main KHL rivals like Salavat Yulaev Ufa?

The latest development in this story came in an interview Kuznetsov gave earlier this week to the host of KHL-TV’s “The Icing Show,” Igor Larin. Kuznetsov purportedly stated his intention to remain in the KHL, but not necessarily with his current club. KHL-TV has not yet made video of this interview available online.

Many Russian hockey analysts and former players have given their opinions on his decision since then, yet Kuznetsov’s team, Traktor Cheylabinsk, has stayed silent. Until now.

Traktor’s Director Vladimir Krechin spoke to Sport-Express’s Yuriy Golyshak after his team’s 2-1 victory over Ak Bars on Friday. My translation of their interview is below.

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This is a legal hit in Canada.

Heading into tonight’s game, there was no doubt that the Jets’ season was on the line. With a loss, they would fall six points behind the Capitals for the eighth and final playoff spot — all but essentially eliminating them from the playoff race. “These are games that define your team,” Evander Kane told The Washington Times’ Stephen Whyno. “And we’re going to see what we’re made of.” Sure are.

Predictably, the Jets came out fired-up and scored first. Andrew Ladd tallied his 24th goal of the season on literally a magical backhander. 22 seconds later, the Capitals responded, as Marcus Johansson perfectly placed a slap-pass onto Brooks Laich’s blade and watched him tip it in past a helpless Ondrej Pavelec.

Late in the second period, the Jets regained the lead as Nik Antropov out-worked Ovechkin to the front of the net to flip one past Vokoun. Mathieu “I’m teeny tiny like a leprechaun” Perrault managed to tie the game again on a third period power play. Unfortunately, Dustin Byfuglien and his big rear were too much to handle. Jets beat Caps, 3-2.

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