Nicklas Backstrom: “Erik Karlsson is Good at Trash-Talk”

In this interview, Washington Capitals’ star center Nicklas Backstrom discusses his love for the game of golf, Ovechkin’s infamous hole in one and a rather spirited round he recently played with Erik Karlsson, Mats Sundin and Daniel Alfredsson. The article was translated from the original interview recently conducted at the Gävle Golf Club by Magnus Nystrom for the Expressen

It’s no secret Nicklas Backstrom is a fairly accomplished golfer. The Penguins’ Patric Hornqvist was recently asked about Backstrom’s game and he had this to say to Expressen. “Nick has great touch. He is one of the best I’ve played golf with. He has a really good feel and is on a completely different level than many of us.”

Who would win a Club Championship in Washington?
“TJ Oshie is good, but I’m good too”.

Who are the best golfers among Swedish hockey players?
“Best of Swedish hockey players? Well, I don’t know. But I was good. I have a low handicap (four) and I have played a lot. But my former team-mate Markus Johansson now has a three handicap and we’ve had some hot duels,” says Nicklas.

On Ovechkin’s infamous hole in one
“He stood and hit on the same hole many times. It was, of course, well done, but no real hole in one,” said Backstrom, who knows what he’s talking about.

On his only hole in one
Backstrom made a hole in one on the 17th hole of the Gävle Golf Club, when he was 13 years old. “I thought I missed (the green) completely and went and looked for the ball in the rough. I had the sun in my eyes when I hit. Then I thought; maybe, and looked into the hole. The joy is hard to describe.” Since then, there have been many rounds, on some of the world’s finest courses, sometimes in the company of other hockey stars or golf professional-but so far not another hole-in-one.

Can you hockey players have the benefit of playing golf?
“Yes, I think so. It requires focusing each shot. It’s like hockey, how to turn on and off all the time. In this way, it is good to play golf I think. But then there is the relaxation also. To get away from everyday life and think about something else. A nice summer evening with friends on the golf course-it is harmony.”

Who in professional golf does Backstrom admire?
“I took a picture of myself with Colin Montgomerie. To meet him was a dream for me. And to see the best play, how they manage their way out of difficult situations, it is very impressive.”

On the time Backstrom and Erik Karlsson faced Mats Sundin and Daniel Alfredsson in golf  The foursome recently played a round in the D.C. Area last fall, prior to a World Cup of Hockey game. “We beat Daniel Alfredsson and Mats Sundin and then it was a bit petulant, haha. And then it was prestige, may I say. All four of us are competitive people and there were a few holes we are not talking to each other at all.” As far as his teammate for the round? “Erik Karlsson is good at trash-talk and messing. I didn’t say as much, but I fed Erik with what he would say and how he said it.”

You can read more from the original article here.

Related articles:
Nicklas Backstrom Talks About Life in Washington, the Playoffs, William Nylander and the Olympics. 
Nicklas Backstrom Appears in Warrior Hockey Video
Nicklas Backstrom Donates Gold Medal Check to Valbo HC
Nicklas Backstrom Gives Tips for Defending the Puck to Swedish Television
Nicklas Backstrom:”The Curse Will Be Lifted”

Translated by Jon Sorensen and Sofie Bengsston

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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