Our long national nightmare is over. After eight seasons of being ignored, Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom has finally been recognized as what he is: an all star and one of the game’s best players.
On Wednesday, the NHL announced that Backstrom along with goaltender Braden Holtby and head coach Barry Trotz will be joining Alex Ovechkin in Nashville for this year’s three-on-three tournament thing. Holtby hasn’t lost in regulation since December 10, 2015, while Trotz has led the Capitals to the league’s best record.
This will be both Holtby’s and Backstrom’s first all-star game appearance. Backstrom’s first nomination comes in his ninth season pro. Meanwhile, Trotz will coach the Metropolitan Division all stars.
The Washington Capitals, Florida Panthers and Nashville Predators are are the only teams with three representatives in the All-Star Game.
— Katie Brown (@katiebhockey) January 6, 2016
More from the Capitals.
ARLINGTON, VA. – Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom, goaltender Braden Holtby and head coach Barry Trotz have been selected to participate in the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game, the NHL announced today. The game will be played at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on Jan. 31. Backstrom, Holtby and Trotz will join Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin, who was one of the first four players to earn a spot in the All-Star game courtesy of fan balloting in the 2016 NHL All-Star Fan Vote. Ovechkin will serve as captain of the Metropolitan Division team and Barry Trotz will serve as head coach.
The Capitals three All-Star selections mark the team’s most selections since 1984-95, when a franchise-record four players represented Washington at the 1985 NHL All-Star Game in Calgary (Bob Carpenter, Mike Gartner, Rod Langway, Scott Stevens). This season marks Ovechkin’s franchise record seventh selection to the NHL All-Star Game (2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09, 2010-11, 2011-12, 2014-15, 2015-16) and the first selection for Backstrom and Holtby. It marks the second time Trotz will participate in the All-Star Game. He served as assistant coach at the 2007 NHL All-Star Game in Dallas.
Backstrom has registered 35 points (11 goals, 24 assists) in 36 games this season. The Gavle, Sweden, native leads the Capitals in power-play points (16) and power-play assists (14), ranks tied for first in assists, second in points and tied for fourth in goals. In addition, he ranks second in the NHL in power-play assists, tied for fourth in power-play points, sixth in assists per 60 minutes (2.06) and tied for tenth in assists.
Backstrom earned his 600th NHL/Capitals point on Dec. 18 against Tampa Bay, becoming the fourth player in franchise history to reach the 600-point plateau, joining Ovechkin (929), Peter Bondra (825) and Gartner (789). In addition, he became the first player from the 2006 NHL Draft class to reach 600 NHL points. On Dec. 8 against Detroit, Backstrom played in his 600th NHL/Capitals game. His career total of 441 assists through his first 600 games is the fourth-highest in a player’s first 600 games by anyone who has debuted in the NHL over the last 25 seasons. The only players to enter the NHL since 1990 and earn more assists in their first 600 games are Peter Forsberg (555), Sidney Crosby (534) and Jaromir Jagr (457). Since he entered the NHL in 2007-08, ranks third in the League in assists (451), trailing Henrik Sedin (499) and Joe Thornton (472).
Holtby has posted a 25-4-2 record this season with two shutouts, a 1.93 goals against average and a .932 save percentage. The 6’2”, 217-pound goaltender leads the NHL in wins, ranks tied for second in goals-against average and tied for fourth in save percentage. Holtby has posted a 17-0-2 record in his last 20 games with two shutouts, a 1.88 goals-against average and a .938 save percentage. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Holtby is the first goaltender to record a point in 19 straight decisions since 2010-11 (Roberto Luongo: 16-0-5). In addition, Holtby’s 19-game point streak marks the longest by a Capitals goaltender since Jose Theodore’s franchise-record 23-game point streak in 2009-10 (20-0-3). The Lloydminster, Saskatchewan, native played in his 200th NHL/Capitals game on Dec. 8 against Detroit, becoming the third goaltender in Capitals history to play 200 games for the franchise, joining Olie Kolzig (711) and Don Beaupre (269). In addition, Holtby ranks first in the NHL among active goaltenders in wins through their first 200 NHL games (118). Since the start of the 2012-13 season, Holtby ranks first in the NHL in wins (112) and tied for second in shutouts (19).
Trotz has led the Capitals to a 29-7-3 record this season, ranking first in the NHL in points (61) and point percentage (.782). Washington’s 29-7-3 record marks the team’s best start (in terms of points and wins) in franchise history. The Capitals rank second in the NHL in goals per game (3.13), goals against per game (2.15) and power-play percentage (25.8%) and sixth in penalty kill percentage (84.3%). Trotz passed Jacques Martin (1,294) for 10th on the NHL’s all-time games coached list on Nov. 18, 2015 at Detroit and became the 10th coach in NHL history to reach 1,300 games coached on Nov. 27 against Tampa Bay. On Dec. 8 against Detroit, Trotz passed Bryan Murray (620) for 10th place on the NHL’s all-time wins list. He ranks fourth among active coaches in games coached (1,317) and wins (631) and has posted a 74-33-14 record with the Capitals.
Trotz spent 15 seasons as head coach of the Nashville Predators. He was previously the longest tenured coach in the NHL and the only coach in the Predators franchise history. He ranks third all-time in both games coached (1,196) and wins (557) with a single franchise and is one of just six coaches in all four major North American sports leagues to have coached or managed a team’s first 15 seasons of existence (MLB: Connie Mack – 50, Oakland; NFL: Curly Lambeau – 29, Green Bay; Tom Landry – 29, Dallas; Hank Stram – 15, Kansas City; Paul Brown – 15, Cleveland). The Dauphin, Manitoba, native has posted a 631-512-60-114 record in his NHL career with Nashville and Washington.
Ovechkin has earned 11 points (five goals, six assists) in five career All-Star Games (He did not play in the 2011-12 game). The Moscow native ranks fifth in the NHL in goals (21) this season and leads the Capitals in goals, ranks second in plus/minus (+15), third in points (34) and sixth in assists (13). Since entering the NHL in 2005-06, Ovechkin has posted 146 more goals and 45 more points than any other player. In addition, Ovechkin leads the NHL in goals since 2001-02 despite beginning his NHL career in 2005. The 6’3”, 239-pound left wing ranks first in franchise history in goals (496), points (929), power-play goals (183), game-winning goals (83), overtime goals (15), shots (4,022) and multi-goal games (102).
Here’s the rest of the roster.
2016 NHL All-Stars roster: pic.twitter.com/sHyp3f7R2h
— Katie Brown (@katiebhockey) January 6, 2016
P.S. – No Sid!
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