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Photo: aftonbladet.se

Prior to Brynäs’s preseason game against Djurgården on Thursday, Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom took to his hometown ice and was given an Olympic silver medal. Federal Chairman Christer Englund gave Backstrom the award while flanked by national team coach Per Mårts by his side. The crowd gave Nicky a standing ovation.

Nearly six months to the day, Backstrom finally felt “vindication” after getting banned from the gold medal game for taking too much allergy medicine.

After the ceremony, Backstrom spoke to Swedish outlets about how happy he was that this drama is finally over.

The wonderful Matilda Wrigsjö has your translation.

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Photo: @MalinElis

In late February, as Swedish center Nicklas Backstrom prepared for one of the biggest games of his career, he learned he tested positive for a banned substance, Zyrtec D, an allergy medication.

Backstrom was barred from playing against Canada in the Sochi Olympics gold-medal game. He watched from the sidelines as his teammates got shut out 3-0. He suffered through a miserable press conference after the game and then another in Washington DC when he returned to North America for NHL action.

On March 14th, the International Olympic Committee ruled that Backstrom had suffered enough and that the gold medal game suspension was a sufficient punishment.

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Over the weekend, Washington Capitals forward Marcus Johansson completed the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in his native Sweden. It was a no-frills affair… hey, wait a minute.

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Nicklas Backstrom to IOC: FedEx Me My Silver Medal

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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.

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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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Sweden Handles Losing A Lot Better Than We Do (Photo)

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When the Washington Capitals are defeated in the playoffs, everyone in DC becomes miserably miserable. We leave cranky comments on stories, kvetch on talk radio, and demand someone be held accountable. I’m sure some of that stuff happens in Sweden too, but take a look at this photo taken in Stockholm on Sunday night.

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ovi-fifa

Amid the chaos of Nicklas Backstrom‘s gold-medal game suspension on Sunday, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin quietly joined his second social media network, Instagram. The Russian machine chose the subtle username, a0gr8 because modesty. Then he went wild, posting pics of everything Ovi. Let’s catch up.

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George during a stoppage in play during the Sweden-Latvia game. (Photo: freestylephotography.com)

Frederick, Maryland is where RMNB was born, but it’s not exactly a hotbed for hockey. Beyond the Frederick ice rink off of Route 26 and some beer-league hockey teams, Frederick is more known as the city Washington Capitals minor leaguers drive through on the way to D.C.

Over the last few weeks, local media outlets have reported that RMNB’s hometown sent someone to Sochi, just not a player.

Frederick native and 2002 Urbana High School graduate Tommy George officiated in the Sochi Olympics.

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Ranking Capitals Olympians on the RMNB Putin-Weir Matrix

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Five Washington Capitals players participated in the Olympics and all of them had a miserable time. No one tore an MCL like John Tavares of the Islanders or got back surgery like Henrik Zetterberg of the Wings, but you can’t really say the Caps escaped Sochi unscathed. It was basically a ten-day pain parade that we’d all like to forget as soon as possible.

But not yet.

We need to understand it better first. We should map in our minds the unfettered misery of the Sochi Olympics. For reasons. To this end I have devised a two-dimensional matrix of sadness and badassness. Presenting the RMNB Putin-Weir matrix. (I’m really proud of this, so shut up.)

On one axis we have Sad Putin, the basic unit of human suffering. Based on the works of Viktor Frankl and Martin Buber, Sad Putin measures bad things like losing, losing real bad, getting eviscerated by the media, getting busted injecting black tar allergy medicine, and missing the birth of your child.

On the other axis we have Badass Weir, the basic unit of yolo. To rank on the Weir axis, one must outperform expectations, scoar a sick goal, buck the trends, and generally be a cool dude like Johnny Weir.

By combining these metrics, I hope to understand precisely how sucky the Sochi Olympics were. I don’t know why we’d want to do that, but we’re doing it.

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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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