Don't tell Backstrom the championship window is closing originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
Don’t tell Nicklas Backstrom that the Capitals’ championship window is closing. He doesn’t want to hear it.
It’s not that Backstrom does not want to face the reality that a veteran team will not be able to contend for the Stanley Cup forever, it’s more that he just doesn’t believe you can predict just when that time has passed for a team.
“Me personally, I don’t like that window thing because no one believed that we would win in 2018 and we won,” Backstrom said. “So anything can happen out there. It’s just how you prepare and how you play as a team. That’s the most important thing.”
Backstrom’s not naive. He knows Washington’s roster is full of veterans, he knows they are on the older end of the spectrum and he knows they have to win now.
Despite the fact that he does not like talking about the championship window, Backstrom still did admit the team felt a sense of urgency heading into the 2021 season.
“Yeah, absolutely,” Backstrom said. “I feel like, as I’ve said many times before, we’ve got a great core group here. We’ve added some really good players and I think the drive is there. I think with the new coaching staff coming here just ramping everything up they’ll bring some motivation to the locker room as well.”
He knows. He just doesn’t like being told the team “can’t” do something. The sentiment was the same in 2018 and we all remember how that turned out.
Whether Backstrom’s quote will be immortalized in the same way “we’re not going to be suck this year” was remains to be seen.