Washington Capitals superstar center Nicklas Backstrom sat down with Peter Sibner of NHL Sweden, to chat about last season’s disappointing finish, young prospects, and the season ahead. The interview was translated by NoVa Caps’ Swedish translator, Sofie Bengtsson.
Peter Sibner: Nicklas, the 17/18 season is about to start, what do you think about this year’s Washington Capitals team and the roster you have?
Nicklas Backstrom: “It feels good. There were a lot of changes, and we haven’t been able to keep all players, but it feels good at the same time to give more space to younger players to get the chance. That’s only positive.”
Peter: Now you lost (Marcus) Johansson, Williams and Shattenkirk, so which young players do you think will step in and get more ice-time?
Nicklas: “I think about the ones that came up last year, like Jakub Vrana and Christian Djoos. I hope to see him (Djoos) fight his way in, be the player he was in the AHL last year. It should be a lot of fun. It’s always positive to get something new in the team and if someone can surprise, it’s always positive.”
Peter: You have let go of the disappointing ending of last year’s NHL playoffs and are going to play in a tough division this season. What do you think the Washington Capitals must do to take the step over the doorstep. (to get past the second round)
Nicklas: “The first thing is to get to the playoffs, then it doesn’t matter if you are favoring at home or not. You just have to get to the playoffs, because anything can happen there. Hopefully we have a couple of younger players with us that don’t think about the past.”
Peter: Will it help that you perhaps don’t have the same pressure on the team this year like you had the last years, because of the players you have lost?
Nicklas: “Of course, it can be good, however we have high pressure on ourselves as players, and we want to succeed, become better, and like you said, it was a very sad ending last year and we have been through it a couple of times. Someday the curse will be lifted.”
Peter: How do you feel about yourself, you had a very good season last year and you’re in your “prime”. What have you worked on during the summer to be able to contribute to the team?
Nicklas: Well, I worked a lot during the summer. Helps you to stay healthy, so that I can play all the games. I think it was a lot during the regular season last year, where we didn’t play as much as we used to. That could be a reason to why we were alert and had energy in every game. Summer has a big play because you prepare a lot that you won’t have time to do during the regular season.
The original video can be viewed here: Video link:
Translated by Sofie Bengsston