Ovechkin, Backstrom praise each other after big win over Islanders originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom do not like to talk about themselves. That attitude is not unique among hockey players, but it is a problem when those two players each are able to record a goal and an assist in a big 3-1 win over the New York Islanders, and especially when Ovechkin’s goal put him past Phil Esposito for sole possession of sixth place on the all-time goals list.
Despite his historic achievement of reaching 718 goals, Ovechkin was brief on the subject following the game.
“It’s history, it’s pretty good numbers and happy to be in that category,” Ovechkin said. “But just move forward. It’s done, how I say it’s history. It was very good match, big points and obviously big numbers.”
When it comes to talking about each other, however, that’s when they open up.
“We’ve seen [Ovechkin] do it year after year,” Backstrom said. “It’s just so impressive. I think the way he shoots the puck, the way he scores, the way he plays the game is just fun to see. As a teammate, you’re just enjoying every moment.”
Ovechkin, who sat next to Backstrom during the video conference after the game, pretended to wipe away a tear after hearing Backstrom’s answer.
Ovechkin and Backstrom have been one of the league’s most lethal duos since joining together in Washington in the 2007-08 season, Backstrom’s rookie year. But it even goes back further than that as it was actually Ovechkin at the podium at the 2006 draft announcing Backstrom as the team’s first-round pick.
Far too often Backstrom can get overshadowed by Ovechkin, but Ovechkin made it clear just how much he relies on Backstrom who he named “one of the best.”
“We start together I think to build this relationship and build this chemistry, and I think we enjoy play together,” Ovechkin said. “And I think we all understand how we have to play, and if we have that joy, I think we’ll have fun and it’s hard to stop, especially when Nicky have the puck and he’s flying out there. It’s fun to watch. I just have to be open all the time and try to put a puck in. How I said, it’s fun to play with him. He’s one of the best.”