On Wednesday morning, Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom spoke to the media via teleconference about the birth of his third child, the NHL’s pause of the season, and the possibility of playing hockey in the summer.
Backstrom and his fiancé, Liza welcomed their third child, a baby girl named Alizee, on Monday. The family is home and doing well. The 32-year old is now a father of three: Alizee, daughter Haley (6) and son Vince (3). Travel restrictions have prevented Liza from bringing her family from Sweden over to the U.S. to meet baby Alizee, which has been “tough” for them.
He expressed his appreciation and gave lots of credit to the hospital staff and crew during a very difficult time amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “They’re sacrificing themselves for others, which is probably one of the nicest things that a human being can do,” Backstrom said. “God bless them and thanks for the help.”
In addition to Backstrom, two other Capitals players welcomed little ones recently. Forward T.J. Oshie and his wife Lauren announced the birth of their third child and first son, Campbell Richard Oshie, on March 16. Defenseman Nick Jensen and his wife Jenner welcomed a son and first child, Lorenzo Luck Jensen, on March 17. The team group chat basically consists of baby pictures, according to Backstrom.
March 12, the day the NHL officially paused the season due to the Coronavirus outbreak, will be a day all of us will remember about the 2019-20 season. Backstrom called the day “weird”. At first, morning skates and practices were going on as planned. He said that the team “kind of knew” the game would be canceled that night; the Capitals were set to host the Detroit Red Wings. All practices and morning skates were soon canceled and it wasn’t long that news came of the NHL’s pause on the season.
During a difficult and unprecedented time, the Backstrom family is “doing good”. It was “not the ideal situation”, but the family is enjoying the beautiful weather and playing in the backyard.
Backstrom says some sort of camp or small games should take place prior to the start of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs to get the team prepped and ready to go. Before the pause, the Capitals held onto the first spot in the Metropolitan Division at 41-20-8 and 90 points and fifth in overall standings.
Several discussions have taken place regarding the remainder of the regular season and the playoffs. The Swedish center called playing in an empty area “tough”, but will accept it if that’s the case. If we do see summer playoff hockey, Backstrom is fine with the idea. “You want to have a champion this year, that’s for sure.”
Not only has Backstrom been keeping in contact with teammates, but also Nationals’ first baseman Ryan Zimmerman. The two have been texting and can relate to each other’s situation as the MLB’s spring training games were canceled and the start of the regular season would be delayed at least two weeks. The MLB season was scheduled to start on March 26 and the league has been discussing beginning the season without fans at games.
The widely-popular Nexflix series, Tiger King, has been almost everyone’s show to binge-watch while in quarantine. Although Backstrom has yet to watch the series, he has seen the trailer and admits fellow centerman Lars Eller “would be a very good Tiger King.” “His nickname, that is right up his alley.”
Yeah, we got one. 🐯👑 pic.twitter.com/6aIJKFQbjm
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) March 27, 2020
By Della Young