Photo: Robert Mayer

This has been the worst week of Nicklas Backstrom‘s professional career. After being one of Sweden’s best players in the Sochi Olympics, Backstrom was suspended from the gold-medal game due to a high level of pseudoephedrine in his urine. Sweden lost 3-0. Backstrom flew home without a medal to face the media during a press conference that got kind of uncomfortable at times.

Here’s a good way to put that mess in the past: score a goal in your first game back.

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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 pariahNicklas 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.

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Photo: Aftonbladet

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!

It doesn’t disappoint.

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Ovechkin takes a break during Tuesday's practice. (Photo: Carolyn Kaster)

Ovechkin takes a break during Tuesday’s practice. (Photo: Carolyn Kaster)

Backstrom answers questions at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Tuesday. (Photo: Carolyn Kaster)

The Caps sent five players to the Olympics. None of them accomplished their ultimate goal, and only one (Marcus Johansson) appears likely to come away with a medal.

The Sochi games were most disastrous for Washington’s two best players, Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin.

On Tuesday morning, Backstrom and Ovechkin talked to the DC media for the first time since their disappointments, holding successive press conferences at Kettler Capitals Iceplex.

“It’s been a couple tough days,” Backstrom said at the start of a media availability that became combative at times. “I don’t wish no one to have to go through this. It’s not fun.”

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When Team Sweden came out to play for gold this morning, they did so without Nicklas Backstrom. We were told then he had a migraine, which has kept him out of games in the past before. Later we learned Backstrom was prohibited from playing because he tested positive for a higher-than-allowed level of pseudoephedrine, something that was in his allergy medication.

This morning at Kettler Capitals IcePlex, head coach Adam Oates — several days after defending Alex Ovechkin — went to the podium and did it again.

This time he took the IOC to task. There was some head shaking.

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Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games

Nicky celebrates his apple. (Photo: Andre Ringuette/HHOF-IIHF Images)

Backstrom plays some pre-game soccer.

Backstrom (right) plays some pre-game soccer.

Washington Capitals forwards Nicklas Backstrom and Marcus Johansson will play for a gold medal at the Sochi Olympics. Team Sweden defeated Teemu Selanne and Team Finland 2-1 early on Friday morning (our time) to earn the right. Erik Karlsson scored the game-winning goal and Henrik Lundqvist made 25 saves.

While Johansson played only ten minutes and didn’t have much impact on the game, Backstrom certainly did – winning an insane 85% of his face-offs (16 of 19) and assisting on Sweden’s first goal of the night.

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Team Sweden’s Off Day in Photos


Backstrom and Mojo, whatta pic. (Photo: @ErikKarlsson65)

Caps Nicklas Backstrom and Marcus Johansson and the rest of Team Sweden were busy on their day off. On Monday, the players traveled to the neighboring mountains in Krasnaya Polyana to watch Sweden win the Cross-Country men’s relay.

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Backstrom hug

Photo via gfhockey

Team Sweden survived a challenge from Latvia on Saturday, winning 5-3 to finish the preliminary round undefeated. But it wasn’t easy.

In the second period, Sweden actually trailed 2-1 until Nicklas Backstrom and Erik Karlsson connected on another power play goal.

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Team Sweden pulled out their second straight win this morning, defeating Switzerland 1-0 on a late Daniel Alfredsson goal. That’s cool, but I can’t get past what happened before the game.

Nicklas Backstrom and Marcus Johansson rode bikes to their game at Bolshoy Ice Dome. Together. While wearing suits.

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Nicklas Backstrom and Team Sweden Take Team Photo


Backstrom and Johansson (middle row, center) pose for the team photo.

Unlike Alex Ovechkin and John Carlson, Nicklas Backstrom and Marcus Johansson didn’t play on Thursday. Instead, Team Sweden held practice and took their team photos.

The Swedish-language site Aftonbladet has photos.

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