2011-12 Year-End Review: Nicklas Backstrom

Photo credit: Clydeorama

This was not exactly the year that Nicklas Backstrom had imagined. After taking an elbow to the head from Rene Bourque in January, the Swedish center ended up on the sidelines for nearly half the year. While this didn’t do much to help the slow-motion train wreck that was the 2011-12 season, we are glad that the team was careful with Backstrom’s recovery, because we expect to see him in Caps red for a long time to come.

Cap Hit for 2011-12: $6.7 M. Backstrom is signed with the Capitals through 2019-20, when people travel by jetpack and there are bases on the moon.

Milestones: This was the first time in his career Backstrom has missed more than five games in a season.

Best Moment: His double-overtime playoffs game-winner, and this moment in the Rangers series:

Please note that “Forsberg-esque” is now apparently a word and make your language choices accordingly.

Things We Said About Nicklas Backstrom: “Boy, we miss Nicklas Backstrom.” “Punch this face!”

Alignment: Lawful Good

First Irrelevant Google Images Result:

This is the Scandanavian metal band Moloken. I gather one of their members is named Nicklas Backstrom.

Media Consensus: “Nicklas Backstrom is definitely the team MVP.”

Alternate Universe Superhero Identity: Super Swede

Spirit Animal: Red panda.

Photo credit: National Geographic

Team Role: Elite playmaker contributing to possession and production; offensive engine.

Execution of that Role: Nicklas Backstrom missed forty games due to concussion this year, but to that point, he had been putting together a very good year. Before he was sidelined, he was leading the Capitals in scoring.

Postseason Performance: Backstrom was asked to center the second line for most of the playoffs, in order to make line matching more difficult and split the focus of other teams’ top defensive pairings. He had eight points in thirteen games, including a double-overtime game winner in Game Two of the Boston series.

Beard Rating: One out of ten.

Photo credit: Caps 365

What in the world is this beard, Mr. Backstrom? Explain yourself.

Likeliness to Return: Ten out of ten. Backstrom is signed through forever, and continues to be a pivotal part of the team. Trading Nicklas Backstrom at this point in time would be considered legally insane.

Usefulness in a Post-Apocalyptic Setting: Two out of ten. Though Backstrom showed some snarl at times this season, I’m afraid we all know our favorite Swedish scorer would probably get eaten by zombies within the first week.

Other: We credit DJ Tiesto for healing Backstrom.

Overall Year-End Rating: Seven Good Sashas.

  • Isabelle

    How are spirit animals determined?


  • Ana

    sin²(Δlat/2) + cos(lat1).cos(lat2).sin²(Δlong/2)

  • Ana

    But actually by arbitrary whim. Feel free to suggest alternative spirit animals!

  • Fern

    Disagree about the zombie thing. Otherwise, nice post!


  • serpent

    I see him more as a bobcat. Shy, nearly invisible until the perfect moment to strike and don’t poke the kitty if you value your life.

  • Owen

    “the slow-motion train wreck that was the 2001-12 season”
    Damn, that’s a loooooong season!

  • haha that one was my bust! fixed.

  • I’m more excited to see everybody’s alignments and good sasha ratings than anything else…. These are great!

  • Thanks, Pat. Good luck with the band.

  • DoxinCalvert

    Absolutely LOVE the animated gif of the hit….. wheeeeeee!

    …Love this site guys – keep it going!

  • Kait

    Funny story, for Moloken their founding member and guitarist/vocalist? Kristoffer Bäckström. He later brought in his brother as a vocalist/bassist, Nicklas Bäckström. Either Bäckström is the Smith of the Nordic world, or this is a secret off-season ploy by Nicklas and his brother.

  • Rhino40