Nicklas Backstrom was part of a Swedish language video conference on Thursday with the Rangers’ Mika Zibanejad, the Lightning’s Victor Hedman, and the Coyotes’ Oliver Ekman-Larsson.
During the interview, the players were asked who was the best Swedish player in the NHL this season. Hedman, Backstrom, and Ekman-Larsson all chose Zibanejad, who has scored 41 goals in 57 games this year for the Rangers.
Zibanejad’s five-goal game against the Washington Capitals on March 5 was brought up several times, which garnered some teasing from Hedman to Backstrom.
“Best Swede this year, he’s on this call. That’s Mika,” Victor Hedman said. “He’s had a fantastic season in New York and leads the team. He’s been impressive to follow, especially with that five-goal game against Backstrom and the boys. That was sick. So it’s Mika.”
“Yeah, he ran us over on his own, so,” Nicklas Backstrom said. “Mika has been playing incredible, and even if you’re on the other team, you can be glad over the fact he played incredible in that game. Like ‘What are you doing?’”
Backstrom began laughing.
“No, but he’s been the best,” he continued. “He’s taken the Rangers on his own shoulders and gets them closer to a playoff spot and that’s impressive. That means a lot when you evaluate players.”
Swedish defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson agreed with Victor and Nicklas. “I think Mika has played fantastically well. And it’s nice we only had to play him once. There’s plenty of good Swedes, but Mika’s been the outstanding one.”
Mika, himself, chose Elias Pettersson of the Vancouver Canucks who has 66 points in 68 games.
During the interview, Backstrom was also asked which teammate he’d want to be quarantined with.
“I think I would choose Hagelin actually,” Backstrom said. “It can’t be boring around him, he’s incredibly funny and we have a smilier mindset, so I’d go with him.”
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) April 10, 2020
Headline photo courtesy of NHL
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.