Judging from the comments on yesterday's post about Nicklas Backstrom's summer so far, there's concern that the Caps' baby-faced Swede has let himself go a bit. But thanks to a link via our buddy Gavlegirl, those worries can probably be put to rest by this video interview, in which there is no evidence of moobs/mits (but raise your hand if you were expecting him to reach into the ice cream chest. And is that a Redskins hat he's wearing? Oh, and Rafael Nadal called... he wants his capris back).
On to more important things (i.e. substance), here's what Nick had to say, per Gavlegirl:
His summer vacation has been nice, he has been spending time with family and friends and trained.... He states that the first months of the season were tough, but that it changed when Bruce Boudreau came onboard.... He thinks his first season was good with 69 points and the playoffs, but it can be better.... He enjoys his time in Washington, but it is a lot of traveling with 82 games plus.... When comparing his game with his old team Brynäs and Washington he says it is a big difference.... He wants to continue be better and become stronger with his skating.... During the world cup he got the "C" for Sweden and it surprised him, but it was fun and interesting.... Next season he wants to have a good level in his game, he wants the team to reach the playoffs and go further.... It is a long way to have the Stanley Cup on display, but he thinks Caps will have it in a few years.... He mentions that playing with Ovie and Kozlov made him a better player and he wants to continue with it for many years more.But wait, there's more... GG has translated some of this interview with Backis for you all to devour:
OFF-SEASON - Nicklas Bäckström
Nicklas Bäckström, a 20-year-old center from Washington Capitals in the NHL, is spending his summer in Gavle before returning to USA and a new season. After 3 seasons with Brynäs in the SEL he left Sweden for NHL. And during his rookie season in the NHL he made 69 points (14-55) in 82 games and got nominated for the rookie award and he has shown that he is the center that Washington was hoping for. Even though he is only 20, he has already played in 3 World Cup tournaments and won the gold with Sweden in 2006.
When asked if he was dissapointed over not winning the rookie award he stated, "I am proud that I got nominated and Patrick Kane is a great winner for it. Before I went to NHL my primary goal was to take a spot in the Capitals roster and everything else a bonus."
He was also asked what is the difference between playing in NHL and SEL and replied the game is much faster in the NHL and all the best players in the world play in it, that it is a very good league to play in.
His father Anders was a defensemen in Brynäs until 1988 and he has had a great impact for Nick's game.
"My dad and the rest of the family has always supported me and he has given me alot of advice from his level of experience. They are very loving parents and has helped me alot."
What is your favorite spot you would recommend in Gavle?
Going out to "Bönan", a peaceful place where it is quiet and you can sit close to the water.
What is your goal with the upcomming season?
Capitals will be in the playoffs and we are gonna go further than losing in the first round.
Give us your all-star NHL team.
Left wing, Alexander Ovechkin; center, Evgeni Malki; Pavel Datsyuk as a right wing; Nicklas Lidström and Mike Green as defense; in goal "Lunkan" (Henrik Lundqvist).
Translated freely by Gavlegirl for Japers' Rink