Everything was going swimmingly for the Washington Capitals. Alex Ovechkin opened up scoring with two straight goals. Going into intermission, the Caps had a two-goal lead.
Then things changed. Mike Richards scored early in the second. Then, a few minutes later, the Capitals’ first-line center and arguably the team’s best player, Nicklas Backstrom, absorbed a rough hip check near the Caps bench, where the boards meet plexiglass, courtesy of Drew Doughty.
Brouwer celebrates his first goal (Photo: Paul Frederiksen)
Coming soon to warmups near you: Ian Oland in spandex. With an empty-net goal against Toronto Sunday, Troy Brouwer netted his 20th goal of the season. Ian had a bet with the Brouwer Rangers that if Troy scored 20 this year, he would go to a game with Nathan and Ryan dressed in a red unitard. Time to buy a fanny pack.
“I’m excited!” Brouwer told me of Ian’s future gear.
Brouwer’s goal was made possible by a kind turn from Nicklas Backstrom. After Brouwer banked the puck off the boards from the defensive zone, Nicky followed the puck towards the net. The Swedish center neglected to touch the puck, allowing Brouwer to hit the milestone.
“That’s the most unselfish thing I’ve ever seen in hockey,” Brouwer said.
When the International Olympic Committee banned Nicklas Backstrom from the Sochi gold medal game last month, it seemed doubtful the Swede would receive the sliver medal awarded to the rest of his teammates.
Following an appeal, however, the IOC has relented under pressure. Announcing the news Friday afternoon, they ruled that Backstrom had no intention of taking Zyrtec D as a performance enhancer and decided to award him a silver medal after all.
Following the Capitals’ 4-3 win over the Canucks, Backstrom spoke about the decision for the first time.
Before the Capitals had another one of those games against the Flyers on Wednesday night, Mike Vogel interviewed Brooks Laich following the morning skate. With the trade deadline fast approaching, things were very tense. Very serious. And then Nicklas Backstrom made a cameo.
You’re in for a treat. During the Olympic break, Swedish television’s Viasat ran a feature on Washington Capitals center (and gold-medal-game pariah) Nicklas Backstrom. Reporter Frida Nordstrand visited Backstrom’s hometown of Valbo to explore the roots of Washington’s quietest superstar. Nordstrand pored through old photos, talked to Nicky’s family and friends, and revealed more of Backstrom’s personality than we’ve ever seen before.
In the 13-minute clip we learn that Nick used to sleep in his skates, how he came about that trademark humility, and what it’s like to follow in his father’s footsteps.
Also, his hometown named a rink after him. It’s called Nickback. Yeah. Nickback.
Translated by F.O.T.B. Magnus Cadelin, we’ve got the video and full transcript below.
One of our most read articles during the Sochi Olympics had nothing to do with hockey, which I guess at this point is business as usual. The day RMNB readers saw photos of Nicklas Backstrom and Marcus Johansson biking around Sochi in their suits, apparently a few ovaries exploded. Certainly, lulz were shared by all.
Hey, guess what, you guys. Since I love you, Friend of the blog Magnus Cadelin and I plundered the darkest corners of the Swedish interweb to find you more photos – and *gasp* – a GIF too!