Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thursday Roundup

Back in late July, we posted the translation of an article from a Swedish paper regarding Nicklas Backstrom's summer, but the most commented upon aspect of the story needed no translating - for some, the pictures spoke for themselves.

Fast forward a few months to Backstrom's slow start (he's still looking for that first goal and even strength point) and Lisa Hillary's ice-level report during a recent game that casually mentioned that Backstrom had put on twenty pounds in the off-season, and one could easily waddle jump to a conclusion as to the cause of Nick's early season struggles (though his preseason injury, no doubt, has contributed).

Now, I haven't seen Hillary's report corroborated elsewhere, but here's what I do know - Backstrom was listed at 183 pounds in last year's media guide and 210 pounds this year (though he's still at 183 on the team's website):


It should be noted that Nick has apparently grown an inch over the year, and that he's still just 20 years old and filling out thanks to a weight training regimen that is probably unlike what you'd find over in Europe... but 27 pounds in one year?

Perhaps it's not as obscene as it sounds. After all, from Backstrom's draft class, Simeon Varlamov and Mathieu Perreault had weight gains of 18 and 24 pounds, respectively, over the same span, and Alex Semin gained 19 pounds from 2005-06 to 2006-07 (per the media guides). Still, 27 pounds...

You can draw your own conclusions as to whether or not there's any causation here. And this isn't to say that Backstrom is "fat" or out of shape - it may very well be the case that a bigger Backstrom may be a better hockey player in the long run and that his coordination needs time to catch up to his changed (changing?) physique. But the bottom line is that if Backstrom looks a little slower or less nimble than he did last season, there may be a reason for that.

Beefcake. Beefcake!

Update: As Empty points out, 183 pounds was also Backstrom's draft weight, a number that apparently wasn't updated until this year. So it's 27 pounds over two years, not one.

Elsewhere 'Round the Rinks:

Some love for Alex Semin from up north.... Vogs and Brett apparently mentioned this on Capitals Report yesterday (and if this is Mr. Hanlon's Club, what does Mr. Cassidy's look like?)... Daren Machesney: pretty in pink (via Stack the Pads).... Forbes has some "Best Hockey Fighters For The Buck" silliness posted.... Finally, why don't you guys show this kind of dedication?

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's my understanding that the 183 figure was Backstrom's draft weight, and he played at 195 or so last year.

- Empty

Dave said...

Smokin' Al also made a comment last week during the pre-game show on CSN that the Caps were not happy with the condition that Backstrom reporten in.

b.orr4 said...

There's no doubt that Backstrom came into camp out of shape, but I don't see that as a problem now. In fact, to my untrained eye, he seems to be a much faster skater than he was last season. I'm not in the slightest bit worried about Nick. The kid oozes talent and he's going to be a star for a lot of years. As an aside, seeing that link to Hanlon, doesn't it seem like a lot longer than just 11 months since Glen was the coach of the Caps?

Tyler said...

I think it's definitely a factor. A continuing factor, even. I mean, he's playing slow. There's no shiftiness in his game right now.

CD said...

Geez, a guy puts on a few lbs. and the world takes notice. Well, screw you all! i did just break my leg and get married and..oh wait. We were talking about Backstrom, weren't we?

Never mind. Carry on.

bestpilot said...

Oh, look who is in the correction business. I thought Marshall had his own blog, but no, he has to make everyone else feel stupid.

Jordan said...

Those who were at the last game vs. Nashville will note just how much faster and stronger Nick is going to be this year. He was flying around, stickhandling through crowds, and winning battles on the boards. He was one of few Caps that had much jump in his step in the third period. Pity that game wasn't on TV.

Marky Narc said...

Mr. Hanlon: classy and stylish.

Ogre said...

Hey, I put at LEAST 27 pounds on my first semester at college.

b.orr4 said...

Nick's speed is deceptive. Watch him going through the neutral zone. He routinely pulls away from checkers when he shifts gears. When he and AO get on the same page, all this talk will be history.

MacVechkin, fka JR said...

Wouldn't now be the ideal time to sign Backstrom to a long term extension?

DMG said...

What's weirder to me is that Backstrom was listed, at some point at least, as 203 on the team's website last season.