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.
Overall Year-End Rating: Seven Good Sashas.