You have to feel for rookie (and Calder Trophy candidate) Nicklas Backstrom who has been the brunt of jokes and criticism after he accidentally scored on his own net in a crushing loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday.
Teammates and owner Ted Leonsis have rightly come to his defense, using a little humour to calm Backstrom's frayed nerves.
"Washington Capitals rookie Nicklas Backstrom accepted full responsibility yesterday for his gaffe late in Sunday's loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, saying he simply lost his bearings on the ice.
"I feel sorry for my teammates," Backstrom said, making in his first public comments about accidentally scoring into his own net. "I'm surprised by myself. I don't know how it could happen. [But] it happened." ...
Several of Capitals, including Alex Ovechkin, said they reached out to Backstrom on Sunday night and Monday to comfort and support their teammate. After yesterday's practice, majority owner Ted Leonsis sought out Backstrom and embraced him outside of the locker room at Kettler Capitals Iceplex.
"I'm sure he feels terrible, but the kid is going to win a hundred games for me in his career," Leonsis said.
Brooks Laich cracked: "I told him before the Pittsburgh game that we're both going to score a goal. I just [joked] with him today that I forgot to say what net to score it on."