Last night was pretty special in the NHL. Most people were dialed in for the Capitals vs Rangers battle after the Tom Wilson antics from Monday night. Oshie managed to grab that hat trick for Coach Oshie after his dad passed away. The Caps even got two more points as they battle with Pittsburg for that top seed in the Massmutual East.
Shift the emotion from New York to St. Louis and the spotlight falls on David Backes. There was a beautiful video tribute and Backes even got the start. A very emotional night for Backes to say the least.
Big night for former capt David Backes as it seems like he will be retiring after this season. After spending a decade in St. Louis he signed in Boston as a free agent where he met the Blues in the Stanley Cup Final. Then in February of last year, Backes was traded to the Ducks where it looks like he will finish his career. The Minnesota native grew up playing right wing but once he was drafted by the Blues in the second round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft (62nd overall) he made the switch to center. Backes gives credit to Andy McDonald for helping him make the transition to center and the rest is history.
The Blues have yet to punch that playoff ticket for this years playoffs. They had the chance last night but couldn’t score in overtime and ultimately lost in the shootout against Stolarz and the Mediocre Ducks.
The game was tied at two going into overtime. I felt like the Blues could have wrapped this up in regulation but failed to do so. On the bright side, the powerplay has been red hot and should continue to stay hot if Mike Hoffman can keep playing his game.
The fourth line needs to keep rolling and I would love to see Kyle Clifford maintain his spot in the lineup as the Blues gear up for playoffs. Clifford has been a healthy scratch in four of the last six games. Between the grit and grinding goals I think this guy has earned his spot for the postseason.
The Blues have 15 come from behind wins this season and that ranks 4th in the NHL. Whether its a slow start or not closing out the game my biggest concern for this Blues team is finishing a complete game. I don’t see the Blues making it out of the first round in the postseason. Injuries have killed the Blues this year and it looks like Tarasenko has re-aggravated a lower-body injury. Sammy Blais is considered day-to-day and on the back end Torey Krug and Vince Dunn are both dealing with upper-body injuries. Time to dig deep and get pucks even deeper if the Blues want to make any kind of a run.