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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Nicklas Backstrom Should Be in the Olympics

OF COURSE NICKLAS BACKSTROM SHOULD BE IN THE OLYMPICS.  I mean, is that even really a question?

Team Sweden is lucky to have a player born with the talent that Backstrom has.  The 26-year-old has consistently been one of the top setup men in NHL for several seasons now.  He is currently tied for third in the league with 28 assists, same as Sidney Crosby.  He also recently has been on an insane point spree, Backstrom has two goals and seven assists in the past three games played.

Now, the whole point of this series of trying to get every Caps player to the Olympics was supposed to be fun and challenging, but Backstrom is a shoo-in for Sochi.  When healthy, Backstrom has consistently been at the very top of the league leaders in assists.  It would be absurd to leave this guy off the list.

In the past, Backstrom has performed quite well for his homeland.  He was a member of the 2010 Olympic team, and finished with one goal and five assists in four games.  Backstrom won gold for
Via Bleacher Report
Sweden in the 2006 World Championships, and a bronze medal in the 2005 World Under-18 Championships in Pizen.  He set the record for the youngest Swede to ever play in the World Championships at just 18 and 6 months.

Sweden is a 9/2 favorite to win gold in Sochi, and quite honestly, those are not what they should be.  If I was a betting man, I would take those odds.  They have one of the most elite forward groups of any country at the Olympics.  Barring any injuries, they should field a team with Backstrom, Henrik and Daniel Sedin, Henrik Zetterberg, Loui Eriksson, Johan Franzen, Alexander Steen and Gabriel Landeskog.  But it doesn't stop at just the offense.  They have the best offensive defenseman in Erik Karlsson, and solid defenseman in Niklas Kronwall, Oliver-Ekman Larsson and big Victor Hedman.  They also have one of the best goaltenders in the world in Henrik Lundqvist.  It is a very good team, and Backstrom is a critical piece in it.  I would slide him right at center on the second line, with Zetterberg on his left and Steen holding up the right.  He can just feed pucks to Steen all day long.

We'll see you in Sochi Backstrom.

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