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Caps Update: Backstrom, Samsonov, Ovechkin

January 16, 2020, 11:31 AM ET [1 Comments]
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A few things to catch up on:

1. The Capitals Re-signed Nicklas Backstrom to a five year, 46Mil deal and will average 9.2 mil/year, the second highest cap hit on the team behind Ovechkin. It may not be the best contract but Backstrom freakin deserves it. He has been tremendously underpaid in the entirety of his career as he was previously making 6.7mil/year.

Quoting RMNB from the Capitals:

“Backstrom, 32, is the all-time franchise leader in assists (668) and one of just two players to record at least 900 points with the Capitals (Backstrom: 908; Alex Ovechkin: 1,255), reaching the mark on Dec. 20, 2019 against the New Jersey Devils. Backstrom is the only active player in the NHL that has recorded at least 50 assists in six consecutive seasons. Last season, he became the 26th player in NHL history and one of two active players (Joe Thornton, San Jose) to accomplish this feat. Of the 25 other players to reach this mark, 23 are in the Hockey Hall of Fame. The other two, Thornton and Henrik Sedin, are not yet eligible for the Hall of Fame. Additionally, Backstrom is the only player in the NHL to record at least 20 goals and 50 assists in the last four consecutive seasons. Backstrom’s 0.69 assists per game mark since 2014-15 are tied for fourth in the NHL among players with at least 100 games played during that span. In addition, his 668 career assists rank fourth among active players.

Backstrom has recorded 35 points (9g, 26a) in 39 games this season. His 52.1 shot attempt percentage at five-on-five (564 shot attempts for, 517 shot attempts against) ranks first among Capitals forwards with at least 13 minutes per game at five-on-five.

Since his NHL debut on Oct. 5, 2007 against the Atlanta Thrashers, Backstrom leads the NHL with 668 assists despite ranking 17th in games played during that span. Additionally, Backstrom’s 295 power play assists rank first during that span and his 368 power play points rank second only to Ovechkin’s 389. Backstrom’s 295 power play assists are tied for 40th on the NHL’s all-time list. Backstrom has assisted on a franchise-high 255 of Ovechkin’s 686 goals (37.2 percent). Only three players in NHL history have set up a teammate more: Wayne Gretzky (364; Jari Kurri), Bryan Trottier (310; Mike Bossy) and Henrik Sedin (280; Daniel Sedin).

The 6’1”, 206-pound center has led the Capitals in assists in seven of his last 12 seasons and led the NHL in assists during the 2014-15 season (60a). The Gavle, Sweden, native has recorded at least 60 assists in a season five times in his career, joining Scott Stevens as the only player in franchise history to record multiple 60 assist seasons (1987-88 and 1988-89). Backstrom has recorded five of the top 10 most assists in a single season by a Capital. Backstrom’s 68 assists in 2009-10 are his single season high and the third-highest total in a single season in franchise history (Dennis Maruk: 1981-82; Adam Oates: 2000-01).

Backstrom was selected by the Capitals in the first round, fourth overall, in the 2006 NHL Draft. He ranks first among his draft class in points (908), assists (668), fourth in games played (934) and fifth in goals (240). Backstrom holds a 124-assist lead over Claude Giroux (Philadelphia) and a 58-point lead over Phil Kessel (Arizona), who each rank second in each respective category among the 2006 NHL Draft class.

He was named to the NHL All Star Game during the 2015-16 season, becoming one of nine centers in franchise history to receive the honor.

Backstrom is one of two players in franchise history to record 100 career playoff points (Ovechkin: 126 pts; Backstrom, 106 pts), ranking ninth in the NHL among active players. During the Capitals’ 2018 Stanley Cup run, Backstrom ranked third on the team with 23 points (5g, 18a) in 20 games and recorded seven points (1g, 6a) in the Stanley Cup Final against the Vegas Golden Knights. Over the last three postseasons, Backstrom’s 1.10 points per game rating is fourth in the NHL among players with at least 10 playoff games played. Additionally, Backstrom’s four overtime goals in the playoffs are the most in franchise history and tied for the fifth most in NHL history.”

Again, say what you want about it being a bad deal but the guy damn well deserves it! Well done, Backy!

2. Ilya Samsonov recorded his first career shutout the other night against Carolina. He looked incredible. It was impressive enough to the coaches to give him the start again tonight against the Devils. Yes, Samsonov is getting back to back starts at home over Holtby. Holtby has struggled and Samsonov leads the lead in GAA. Could we be seeing a changing of the guard in Washington’s net?!

3. Ovi scored two goals in the first period against Carolina and passed Teemu Selanne and now sits #11 all time on the NHL goal list with 686. He has been vocal about two things more recently. #1 he wants to retire with Backstrom and #2 he wants to get the all-time goal title. If he finishes this season at pace, he will score 48 goals putting him at 706. That means he has five seasons to score 188 goals. Soooo he would only need to score 37.6 goals per season for five years after this. It is totally doable and I guarantee he will do it just like that. He is going to break the record in the final year of his new deal and him and Backstrom are gonna retire together. Lets go baby!

Thanks for reading

Brian S
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