There’s no denying it: Nicklas Backstrom is the hottest player in the entire NHL right now. He has recorded more points than anyone in the entire league since the beginning of the New Year, and after reaching 700 career points in last night’s game against the Anaheim Ducks, Backstrom is now tied for second in league scoring.
“It has felt good and I can’t say anything besides that it’s a lot of fun right now, “Backstrom” told Sportbladet, a Swedish news site, after the Caps’ 6-4 win. The Capitals are continuing to impress the world night after night with offensive outbursts and solid team defense, and at the same time, so does Backstrom. The league-leading Caps have scored at least five goals for the eleventh time at home against the Ducks, and at the same time, Backstrom had a multiple points in his seventh straight game. Backstrom recorded his 700th point on a secondary assist on a goal by T.J. Oshie.
But that isn’t all he’s managed to accomplish.
As mentioned above, he reached the 700 points milestone, and in doing so, catapulted himself in the thick of league leaders of league scoring, next to Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby and Edmonton’s Connor McDavid. That only happens when you score more than anyone else for a month and a half.
”It’s fun right now. Oh, did I reach that high? Yes, it’s been feeling good at the end and I can’t say anything else other than it is fun to play right now”, he said. “There are a lot of factors that matter, but the most important is that the team is playing so well. Everything works. Power play, penalty kill, the way our goalies play, all the parts are working for us.
When asked about reaching the seventh century mark in points, the 29-year old Backstrom answered in typical Backstrom fashion, always crediting his teammates for his success, something that has made him one of the most respected members of the Capitals: “To reach that milestone is of course, always fun. It’s a receipt on that you have been going for a while and I’ve had really good teammates all the time”.
The game against Anaheim appeared to be over when Daniel Winnik made the score 4-1 in the middle of the second period, but the Ducks would come back and tie the game in the third period before a late two-goal surge by the Caps gave the home team the victory. “We let them into the game and that was a little unnecessary, but I think it was strong that we could fight back on more time, said Backstrom.
Fellow Swede Marcus Johansson finished with an empty-net goal, his ninth goal for the season, second-best of all the Swedes.
With all teams getting a week off before playing again, many players have already made plans, and this week will be one that the “point king” Backstrom is going to enjoy. “Yes, a couple of the guys are going to the Bahamas with our families. It’s going to be really nice to take it easy and relax for a while”. So while the rest of us are still battling the cold in the week ahead, Backstrom will be enjoying the warmth and relaxation of paradise. And given how well he’s played, he deserves it.
Original interview can be found here.
**Thanks to Sofie Bengtsson for her help in translating!**
By Michael Fleetwood