After another crushing early exit from the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Capitals players and coaches gathered at Kettler Capitals Iceplex to clean out their lockers and meet with the media for their annual exit interviews. Star center Nicklas Backstrom has always been bluntly honest with the media and today was no different.
A clearly brokenhearted Backstrom stood in front of the media members crowded around him trying to answer their questions on the team’s second round loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. One of, if not the most talked about topics was the team’s inability to advance beyond the second round and the inevitable changes coming to the roster in the next few months. When asked by the Washington Post’s Isabelle Khurshudyan, “Do you feel a lot needs to change?”, Backstrom answered it like he answers every question: with blunt honesty. “Obviously it’s not working”, he said. And in many regards, he’s right. The Capitals have had the same core the last two seasons and have failed to get the job done.
Backstrom was also asked about his possible participation in the upcoming World Championships and confirmed that he will be representing Sweden in the tournament. “That’s my plan, yeah”. When asked about whether the team’s loss would affect his decision to play for Team Sweden, Backstrom replied, “I’m going to end this season on a positive note and I want to play for my country”.
Backstrom also talked about the fans and how the team appreciated their support throughout the year, calling them “the best fans in the league”. While the loss to Pittsburgh is truly a tough one to swallow, the Caps’ fans have always been back, year-after-year, to support their favorite team.
By Michael Fleetwood