How Swede It Is: Nicklas Backstrom's Back to His Old Form for the Capitals

Jennifer JohnsonAnalyst INovember 18, 2008

Washington Capitals winger Nicklas Backstrom’s sophomore slump is officially over, and in the "nick" of time.

Bad joke aside, the team is gearing up for a brutal four-game road trip that begins tomorrow night versus the team formerly known as the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. 

Alright alright, I’ll stop the cheesy intro, and provide you, loyal readers of B/R, with the inside scoop of how, sometimes, all it takes is one player to start a team’s motor.

Backstrom has awakened from his early season slumber and registered 10 points in his last three games.

Scoring two goals and amassing eight assists, the Capitals last week went 2-0-1, welcoming the productivity they remember from last year’s Nicklas Backstrom.

They endured a tough loss on Saturday night in New Jersey, a 6-5 shootout, because of several defensive lapses in the Devils’ zone.

Backstrom certainly did all he could to keep his team rolling on, finishing his night by  matching his career-high in points scored. 

He tallied four assists and scored his second goal on the season, earning the praise of his appreciative boss.

“Nick is maturing quickly and we are the beneficiary of his talent and skill,” coach Bruce Boudreau told the AP. “We need him to be our everyday set up man, and find those angles for us to stay solid offensively”.

Gabby knows without Backstrom’s strong puckhandling, the Capitals offense has looked stagnant at crucial times in previous games.

Here’s my thought on why the Capitals have turned their offensive woes into wins: The way to avoid lethargy is starting fast and the Capitals, for two out of their last three games, have scored three goals in the first period.

When you have the lead, the best thing to do is to keep attacking. 

Go after every loose puck.   

Don’t sit on it and expect your opponent to lie down like a newborn baby.

With Backstrom back on board, the Capitals hope to drown the Ducks with physical, unrelenting hockey.



Game time on the East Coast is slated for 10 p.m. 

Set up your DVR, just in case you can’t make it before the puck drops.

Oh, and make your b-double-e-r run on your way home from work.

Final Score: Capitals 3, Ducks 1