A few weeks ago, I wrote about how the Washington Capitals were dominating the NHL leaderboard. Another fun milestone comes tonight. Alex Ovechkin has taken over the league lead in points from… Nicklas Backstrom! Yup, it’s still a great (er, GR8) time to be a Caps fan.
Nicklas Backstrom has been insanely good this year. Today has been no different. For the Caps’ first goal, he took the puck in the Caps defensive zone, skated around four different Islander players in the offensive zone, and put a perfect pass into Matt Niskanen‘s wheel house. Niskanen unleashed the Niscannon, going top shelf.
On February 19th, 2015, let it be remembered that 59 games into the season, the Caps were straight pwning the NHL’s leaderboard. Alex Ovechkin leads the league in goals (38) and Nicklas Backstrom leads the league in both assists (45) and points (63). Ovi is also third in the league in points and trails Backstrom by two.
Nicklas Backstrom doesn’t go to All-Star Games, receive NHL Awards, or get much attention of any kind. He’s just quietly one of the best players in the league making world-class plays every night.
On Tuesday, the NHL’s leading assist man delivered another juicy apple– this time to Joel Ward during a five-on-three power play. Backstrom, in the corner, fired a perfect cross-ice, cross-crease pass to Ward who one-timed the puck past Marc-Andre Fluery. It would stand as the game-winning goal and Nicky’s 44th assist.
On Tuesday The Washington Capitals dominated the Los Angeles Kings both physically and on the scoreboard. But Washington’s aggressive play didn’t obscure their finesse, which was on display in the third period when the Kings surrendered the puck behind their net.
On that play, the Capitals looked like the Harlem Globetrotters.
The Kings, for their part, looked more like the 2008 Atlanta Thrashers than the defending Cup champions.
RMNB reader Bridget L. took her three-year-old son Max to the Caps’ morning skate on Wednesday. The mother and son sat in the first row and watched as the team readied itself for the rival Flyers that night.
Amazed by what he saw, Max could not stay seated. He stood up at the glass near star center Nicklas Backstrom. Bridget thought it was a good time for a photo op, so Max grinned as wide as he could while mom snapped away.
A few seconds later, something adorable happened.
Six-foot, four-inch behemoth Tom Wilson has racked up some huge hits in his two-year career. but it’s been those body checks that knock over multiple guys at once that I’ve loved the most. Remember his triple-check of the Columbus Blue Jackets or this shellacking of a Blues player and Matt Niskanen in St. Louis?
On Saturday, Wilson checked one of his own teammates again, this time Nicklas Backstrom, while trying to destroy Red Wings defenseman Brendan Smith.
Following their sun-splashed practice at Nationals Park on Wednesday, the Washington Capitals stayed on the ice for an informal skate around the outdoor rink, joined by their friends and family — and there were plenty of them. Michael Latta got around 50 tickets for his guests, though he’s not the Capitals leader. According to Latta, John Carlson asked for even more. While the media was ushered away from the rink during the skate, NHL Network cameras and the Caps Twitter account captured some of the heartwarming moments.
These guys are adorable.
In episode one of The Road To The Winter Classic, Tom Wilson and Michael Latta revealed that they are protective of their on-ice dad, Nicklas Backstrom. In episode two, Backstrom showed a rare glimpse of his life away from the rink, where he is actually a dad. The segments featured Backstrom’s daughter, Haley.
After returning home from New Jersey, Backstrom and girlfriend Liza took their one-year-old daughter to the park. “We were just on a road trip for six days,” Backstrom said. “You’re kind of like, ‘I wonder if she recognize me now?'”
The Swedish dad pushed Haley on a swing and rode down the slide with her. It’s adorable.
“It’s one thing to have a good group of guys on a team,” Backstrom said. “We’re all family, but it’s awesome to come home from games and enjoy her.”