Things looked grim in Caps land just one week ago. Heading into the holiday, the team had one win in four games. They were stagnant during even strength and were floundering on special teams. Desperate for change, Barry Trotz made one simple adjustment: he reunited Nick Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin. Since then, the Caps have won three straight, including back-to-back victories over two of the East’s most fearsome teams, Tampa and Toronto.
The process might not be perfect, but it seems the Caps have found a way to win.
After having their NHL careers overlap by nine years, Finnish goaltender Niklas Backstrom and Swedish center Nicklas Backstrom were sometimes confused because of the nearly identical spelling of their names. Although the former Wild goalie is no longer playing in the NHL, he had another mix up at Montreal’s Canadian Grand Prix this past weekend.
Niklas Backstrom’s entry pass had a headshot of his Capitals name-counterpart printed on it.
Tuesday night, the Caps scored a goal against the Calgary Flames that the NHL credited as Kevin Shattenkirk’s first as a Washington Capital. We broke down the video like the Zapruder film and suggested that Nicklas Backstrom may have gotten a piece of it at the last second. Well, upon further review it seems the NHL is in agreement:
Please note NHL’s scoring change re #Caps third goal last night vs. Calgary. It should now read goal by Backstrom from Shattenkirk & Oshie
— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) March 22, 2017
We’ll have to wait a little longer to see Shattenkirk’s first goal as a Washington Capital, but in the meantime we can bask in the glorious season that Backstrom is having.
Photo credit: Nick Wass
One by one, the Capitals’ stars are getting on the board. First it was John Erskine, who fired a “muffin” into the twine on Sunday. A period later, it was Alex Ovechkin‘s turn when he unleashed a one-timer for a game-winning goal. Tonight, it was Nicklas Backstrom, who roofed a backhander past Ilya Bryzgalov late in the second period Friday night.
Nicky’s first tally of the season came when John Carlson, the author of a rough season so far, poke-checked the puck away from Sean Couturier as the Philadelphia center entered the offensive zone. Carlson — and his more importantly his glorious hair — then fired a pass up ice to Backstrom, who was waiting at center ice. With the Flyers in the middle of a line change, Nicky was in all alone. Forehand. Backhand. Touchdown.
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