By Elyse Bailey
Sorry, Philipp Grubauer.
Coming off of a 6-3 win over Team Finland, Team Sweden made their way to D.C. and held their evening practice tonight at Kettler Capitals Iceplex.
Caps center and our sweetheart, Nicklas Backstrom took the time to talk with the media about a pile of issues including line-mate chemistry, how the world cup format compares to the Olympics, and much more.
“It’ll be nice to play in front of the home crowd and hopefully they will cheer us on,” Backstrom said to reporters while flashing an innocent grin. Don’t worry, we will.
The team is gearing up to play their next game at the Verizon Center on Wednesday, September 14th vs. Team Europe at 7:00 p.m. EST. Here’s the full transcript of Backstrom’s meet-up with the press.
.@backstrom19 is back in D.C. with his #WCH2016 Sweden teammates. #CapsWCH pic.twitter.com/t1oXFC3IOj
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) September 12, 2016
Nicklas Backstrom: Honestly, it’s a great feeling. I mean it’s gonna be great for the city of Washington I think too…it’ll be nice to play in front of the home crowd and hopefully they will cheer us on.
How do you feel like this compares to the Olympics so far?
Nicklas Backstrom: Yeah, I feel like maybe here you have a longer camp and more days to prepare yourself before it starts. I mean, Olympics is just one practice and then you start playing games so, I think it gives teams a bit more time to go through the system and stuff like that and obviously a couple exhibition games too, so it’s nice
How’s the chemistry coming along so far with the linemates?
Nicklas Backstrom: You know what, I feel better. First game maybe the timing wasn’t there, but I feel like the second game was better. So, I would say better and better.
The games that you’ve played so far have been only exhibition games, but you’ve play against those guys in NHL formats and probably some international formats as well. Do they feel any differently to you as opponents than they do night in and night out in the NHL?
Nicklas Backstrom: No, I feel like you play them on a daily basis and usually you know all the guys and how they play. This is just a different system they play now. You play against them every day and you should know them.
Your line with Filip and Patric has obviously been good your last couple of games. What do you think the three of you do so well together thats such a success?
Nicklas Backstrom: They’re really good players. They’re going to the net, they want to score and that sets up my game pretty good. I can look for them and obviously we want to click before the tournament starts and make sure we’re good before. It’s a good opportunity to play another game here in Washington before we go to Toronto.
And Patric said he’s played with you before does that make it a little easier?
Nicklas Backstrom: Yeah, absolutely. We played with each other maybe seven years ago, so it was a long time ago. But at the same time he’s a great player he knows what he’s got to do every night, he’s going to the net, he’s standing in front of the net. He’s tough to play against so it’s better to have him [on your team].
You’ve played against Filip as well. Does playing against a guy give you a little more insight into how they are as player?
Nicklas Backstrom: Yeah, but at the same time it’s different to play with them. You have to get feel for them. They would probably say the same about me. It’s about finding timing and how we play as a line out there. Hopefully we can be even better on Wednesday
You came over around July how do you feel right now compared to how you would normally feel say around second week of September?
Nicklas Backstrom: First exhibition games are usually a little slower than it was this first game. Guys were flying and it felt like a regular season game. It’s just a different game out there right now. But I know all the players want to get ready too and play their style.
You guys played last night, you had a long travel day today, it didn’t seem like in practice you didn’t let anything off. Does that speak to the intensity of the group?
Nicklas Backstrom: I think so. It’s all best players in the world and everyone wants to get better and we as a team want to get better too. That’s what we’re looking for, we want to practice good too. We don’t have a lot of time to prepare before the tournament so it’s important that you stay sharp and make sure you get better every day.
You have a day off tomorrow, are you planning to do a tour into D.C. with your teammates?
Nicklas Backstrom: No, I’m not going to show them around. I have plenty of people around already in my NHL career here so, if they want to see the monuments I’m sure they can go on a bus or something.
You’ve got almost half of your Caps roster is on one team or another in this tournament, do you feel like that might possibly give you guys, some leaders on this team, a leg up at the start of the season?
Nicklas Backstrom: Yeah I hope so, I mean it’s always a little slower in the beginning of the NHL season so hopefully we can wrap up right away and we get back to the NHL so we can start playing good right away because you have to have a good start in this league, in the NHL. I mean, it can only be positive for us.
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