“…We Want A Chance to Win and We Will Do Everything For That”: Now Pain-Free and Hungry For Another Stanley Cup, Nicklas Backstrom Looks Ahead To A Full Season

Photo: NHL.com

In recent seasons, Washington Capitals Center Nicklas Backstrom had been plagued by a lingering hip injury and declining production. However, Backstrom has no doubt that he can return to the high level of production he had shown in previous seasons following a hip resurfacing surgery that kept him out of the lineup until January 2023.

One person who will be integral to Backstrom’s efforts to return to his former playing capabilities is new Capitals Head Coach Spencer Carbery, who takes the reins from former bench boss Peter Laviolette.

“He’s really excited”, said Carbery in a Q&A with NHL.com’s Tom Gulitti, “We’re talking about a guy who is tremendously, incredibly hungry, but who has a lot to prove. Now he has been able to train fully for a whole summer while he is fully recovered from the surgery he underwent. In addition, he will have a full training camp to prepare for the season. “He is excited, and everything seems to have gone well for him [this summer].”

Backstrom’s most-recent point-per game season was in 2016-17; even then, he was bothered by the condition of his hip. Having already undergone arthroscopic surgery on his hip in 2015, the condition of his hip deteriorated, leading to the decision to have a resurfacing procedure done; an operation that carried with it a degree of risk.

“It got better after the first surgery eight years ago, but the last three years have been harder than I showed”, said Backstrom this past January, “It’s been a struggle. But that’s what we athletes do. I think we try to get through season after season. But it was time to do something about it. It affected my everyday life.”

Following the first meaningful game played subsequent to the surgery, Backstrom described the pre-game emotions as “the most nervous” he’d been before a game. With only former NHL defenseman Ed Jovanovski (who played in 37 games with the Florida Panthers in 2013-14 before retiring) returning to play after having a similar procedure to the Caps’ all-time Assists leader, the 2006 first-round pick’s apprehension was understandable.

“I Haven’t Been This Nervous Before A Game I’ll Be Honest About That”: Nicklas Backstrom and Tom Wilson Share The Range of Emotions Felt in Return to the Lineup

Backstrom recorded 21 points (7 goals and 14 assists) in the 39 games he played last season. However, he had not played a game in over eight months, could not do normal offseason workouts in the summer of 2022, and did not participate in the team’s training camp. With all three of those factors in his favor coming into the campaign, No. 19’s confidence is inarguably better than last fall.

“It’s been very different now”, Backstrom said in a recent interview with HockeyNews.se, “I’ve been pretty open about everything that’s happened to me and I haven’t been able to train the way I wanted to in recent years, but now this year I’ve had a great summer and gone on ice before so I’m looking forward to the season.”

The Caps’ 2018 Stanley Cup championship may have occurred five years ago, but the drive to relive the magic of Lord Stanley has not waned from Backstrom or the aging, veteran core of Washington’s lineup.

“We would like to win again and have been talking about it for a long time. That we want a chance to win and we will do everything for that. Age may play a small role, but I think the mental aspect is even more important.”

It would be most helpful in the Capitals’ quest for the Stanley Cup that Backstrom can stay injury-free and once again become a point producer to rely on; with Backstrom himself hopeful he can achieve that objective, the only thing left to do is bring it to fruition.

Original article by Hampus Duvefelt of NHL.sv

By Diane Doyle

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Nicklas Backstrom On Preparations For 2023-24 Season: “I’ve Had A Great Summer”
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Nicklas Backstrom: “Obviously We’re Not Happy About The Situation”
Nicklas Backstrom Will Make Season Debut On Sunday
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Capitals’ GM MacLellan On Backstrom: ”I Think It’s His Intention To Come Back And Play This Year”
Tom Gulitti — NHL — Backstrom’s Return From Hip Surgery Similar to Ed Jovanovski

About Diane Doyle

Been a Caps fan since November 1975 when attending a game with my then boyfriend and now husband.
This entry was posted in Injuries, News, Players, Spencer Carbery, Washington Capitals and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to “…We Want A Chance to Win and We Will Do Everything For That”: Now Pain-Free and Hungry For Another Stanley Cup, Nicklas Backstrom Looks Ahead To A Full Season

  1. DC Scappeli says:

    Love Nicky, but that salary cap hit…I hope it really works out for him and he’s an asset and not a liablity this season.

  2. Anonymous says:

    If he cones back he is just being selfish, time to ruin a legacy.

    • Diane Doyle says:

      Then again, I figure Nicky owes it to himself to try to come back. Full training camp and full summer off season training should be helpful. If this year goes south, then it’s time to hang it up.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Even retire before the season starts?

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