Oh So Worth Another Look

Now this is an unassisted tally if there ever was one — Nick Backstrom initiating his game-winning goal on Sunday with a deft stick-check of Troy Brouwer deep in his own end, then going coast-to-coast to occasion tears into the Windy City’s green river:

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9 Responses to Oh So Worth Another Look

  1. Ari says:

    Backstrom’s hockey sense is absolutely transcendent. Look where he goes after coughing up the puck – he knows exactly the spot on the ice he needs to cover as Brouwer dekes around Green, who has a really poor angle to cut Brouwer off. It’s like Backis knows “if Brouwer makes it around Green, this is where he’ll be” and then he just nonchalantly swats the puck off his stick as he comes to exactly that place.

    Everyone in the building, including the goalie, of course thought that Backstrom would pass at the other end. He had two guys coming in with him, was at the end of a long, exhausting double end-to-end shift, and he’s Backstrom. So what does he do? He lets off the quickest of little wrist shots after curling around Seabrook, exactly at the moment you expect him to pass to Knuble.

    Unreal. Watching Backstrom develop from a fresh, slightly overwhelmed rookie into the historic player he is today has been a rare treat.

    He should win the Selke this year.

  2. Most cogent and astute analysis, Ari. Thank you for sharing it. Nick is certainly the greatest center ever to play for the Caps, already. He may develop into a 50-goal scorer, if you can imagine. I confess I never understood the comparisons with Forsberg, principally because of the caliber and prowess of Foppa’s shot. Now though the comparison seems prescient.

  3. Eric says:

    Going coast-to-coast in OT? Was that EA Sports NHL ’94? I cracked up laughing watching him make go around everyone. My wife thought I went insane. Sick play.

  4. Kevin H says:

    What a singular moment of pure brilliance. #19 is absolutely a joy to watch. He is (in my view) the most hand-eye-skate coordinated player on the team today, and that is a huge compliment (being on a team with OV, Semin, Green, et al).

    FWIW, did anyone else notice the huge check Backstrom takes (to his back, knocking him down) as he scores the winner in all that traffic? He’s really a tough cat, as well.

    Here’s to locking him up as a Cap for the rest of his hockey career. Easily a top 10 talent in the entire league right now.

  5. penguin pete says:

    the greatest capital center ever? already? i suppose you could argue most talented, but the best? you better check my avatar…

  6. I do Pete, and actually, I don’t think it’s even that close. Let’s say you put Pivo, Oates, and Gus at the top of the list. Huntsy gets best leader of all time, and scorer of biggest goal, and also maximizer of most modest talent, etc. Next, watch the game winner from yesterday again and ask yourself who among those greats could have made it, from backcheck to finish. I submit the correct answer is none.

  7. Courtney says:

    This will be one of those goals I watch and will never get sick of seeing. Watching the game, I went from “OMG, Nicky just turned the puck over” to “OMG, he won the game. Did he really just win the game?” – in a matter of 10 seconds. I didn’t even realize what happened until I saw him with his arms up and the light on. We better sign him. Soon!

  8. penguin pete says:

    of course i don’t watch as much capital hockey as you guys do, so i should probably just shutup, but this goal isn’t blowing me away. great backcheck and great move at the dot, but no one was even near him until the dot. don’t get me wrong, it’s a nice goal on a great backchecking effort, but i absolutely joey juneau could’ve made that play.

    i also understand you are not making your case on this play alone, we just seem to be talking about his greatness in the context of this play. (wait, does that make sense?)

    my beloved dale would’ve been caught from behind at center ice…(if not the caps blue line…)

  9. Hittman says:

    Hunter is certainly the dirtiest but Nicklas might be the best. Forsberg level…not quite. Forsberg, we might recall, wasn’t just the best offensive player for a span of time, but also one of the fiercest checkers in the league, perhaps just a step below #8 in that regard. Backstrom needs to play a little meaner to rise to Foppa’s level.

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