Posts Tagged ‘David Backes’

2014 NHL playoffs: Blackhawks beat Blues in OT, tie series at 2-2

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By Brian Hamilton

The time for message-sending has ended,” Ken Hitchcock declared before a group of reporters early Wednesday. The St. Louis Blues coach was referring to the nuclear-powered hits that had been delivered by his team and the Chicago Blackhawks early in the series. Those full-bore blasts were being phased out as the stakes continued to rise, and on that specific point, he was correct. But there was no doubt that the results of the teams’ Game 4 showdown delivered an unambiguous message:

The defending Stanley Cup champions won’t go away easily —  if at all.

The Blackhawks aren’t making it easy on themselves, either. This time, they blew a two-goal lead before Patrick Kane’s overtime score gave them the 4-3 win and evened their first round series at two games apiece. Still, despite their imperfections, their inexplicable early departure from their core philosophy of speed and precision, and their mind-numbing penalties on Wednesday, the Blackhawks basically had all four games of this series won. They’ve had to settle for two victories without yet compiling a completely dominating effort. That’s a dangerous spot for the Blues to be in, even if they’re heading back home to the Scottrade Center for Game 5 on Friday.

They’ve got the momentum now,” Hitchcock said after watching his team’s 2-0 series lead evaporate in Chicago. “We’ve got to find a way to regroup and take it back from them. That’s a big challenge for us. We’re going to have a little bit of a heart-to-heart and get back on our toes again.”

Here are more assorted thoughts from the third overtime tilt in what is fast becoming the best first-round series, by far, of this postseason:

Read More…


  • Published On Apr 24, 2014
  • 2014 NHL playoffs injury update: Teemu Selanne sits in Dallas; Zetterberg skates

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    Teemu Selanne of the Anaheim Ducks

    Not so fast, Teemu! Selanne’s farewell tour has been put on hold at least for one game. (Eddie Perlas/Icon SMI)

    By Allan Muir

    A few highlights coming out of today’s morning skates:

    Look, everyone loves Teemu Selanne. Everyone wants to see him end his brilliant NHL career on a high. But his lack of foot speed has really caught up to him in the Ducks’ series against the Stars and he was particularly ineffective on Monday night in Dallas. Coach Bruce Boudreau has to worry about winning games, not Selanne’s legacy. This was the right call for his team.

    In any case, prepare for a barrage on online vitriol:

    Could the captain be back in uniform for Detroit in Game 4?

    Read More…


  • Published On Apr 23, 2014
  • 2014 NHL playoffs: Blackhawk’s taunt of dazed David Backes an issue

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    By Brian Hamilton

    CHICAGO — The devastating hit that knocked out St. Louis Blues captain David Backes out of Game 2 and earned Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook a three-game suspension has become secondary to what followed.

    The YouTube video above, circulated on Sunday, seems to reveal a Blackhawk player taunting a clearly dazed Backes by saying “Wakey, wakey, Backey” which — not shockingly — elicited scorn from the Blues camp. One Hawk who was accused of being the perpetrator, defenseman Duncan Keith, didn’t admit on Monday that he made the comments.

    The former Norris Trophy winner also didn’t exactly deny it, either.

    “I mean, there’s lots of things that get said out on the ice in the course of a hockey game,” Keith said after Chicago’s morning skate with the teams set to meet in Game 3 on Monday night at the United Center. “Especially in the playoffs. I’m an emotional guy and it’s an emotional game. I don’t remember everything that gets said out there. I didn’t even see the hit, to be honest with you. I was playing the puck, and I shot the puck around, and next thing you know, I see (Seabrook) getting in a fracas. So I jump in there. I don’t know what was going on.”

    Asked again if he made the comments, Keith again issued a non-denial denial.

    Read More…


  • Published On Apr 21, 2014
  • Top Line: NHL’s underrated postseason players; Penguins in danger; more links

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    Marcus Kruger of the Chicago Blackhawks is one of the NHL's most underrated postseason players.

    If the Blackhawks’ are to stage a comeback, they’ll need a spark from Marcus Kruger (16). (Charles Cherney/AP)

    By Allan Muir

    An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • Nate Greenberg breaks out the charts and graphs to reveal the five most underrated players in the NHL playoffs.

    • Forget the complaints about Rob Scuderi and Kris Letang and Dan Bylsma. The Penguins can live with their occasional brain cramps. What they can’t survive without are premium efforts from Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. And Dejan Kovacevic says that Pittsburgh can’t wait much longer for their A-games to arrive.

    • Not that the Avalanche have missed him while Nathan MacKinnon has been running wild, but Matt Duchene is one step closer to returning to the Colorado lineup.

    • Speaking of MacKinnon, the Wild might try to Cooke the Colorado kid in Game 3.

    Will David Backes play in Game 3 against the Blackhawks? And if he can’t go, what will it mean to the Blues?

    • The Stars went 10-2-1 at home down the stretch. Now they need some more home cooking to stay alive.

    • The Sharks’ offensive outburst is the lead story of San Jose’s 7-2 win over the Kings, but the underlying theme was San Jose’s resilience in the face of an early 2-0 deficit.

    • The Red Wings might be able to outskate the Bruins, but they sure don’t measure up in scrums.

    Read More…


  • Published On Apr 21, 2014
  • Top Line: Brent Seabrook ban coming; Wild look silly vs. whiz kid; more links

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    By Allan Muir

    An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • The St. Louis Blues got payback the smart way after a vicious cheap shot by Brent Seabrook left captain David Backes crumpled in the corner in the dying minutes of Game 2. Just a brain-dead play by the veteran defender … and not a real good look on Jonathan Toews, either. I expect a little more from him than to be seen chirping the obviously dazed Backes.

    • Honestly, we can’t be surprised at this point to hear that Seabrook will have a phone hearing with the Department of Player Safety, meaning his suspension won’t top five games. If a hit as dangerous, as injurious and as blatantly offensive to common sense as that doesn’t merit a more serious response, it’s time to dismantle the department and start from scratch.

    • They’re even questioning the dirty, stupid play of the Blackhawks in Chicago after this one. What does that tell you?

    • It’s not often I get to link to the great Michael Enright in this column, but his essay on the complicity of the NHL in the build-up of hockey violence fits nicely today.

    • Nathan MacKinnon’s nickname is silly, but not as silly as he’s making the Wild look in his NHL playoff debut. Gotta hand it to this kid. The bigger the game, the better he plays.

    Read More…


  • Published On Apr 20, 2014
  • 2014 NHL playoffs: Blues rally for another OT win, 4-3, over Blackhawks

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    Brent Seabrook was ejected after a controversial hit on Blues captain David Backes. (Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

    Brent Seabrook was ejected after a controversial hit on Blues captain David Backes. (Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

    By Brian Cazeneuve 

    If the St. Louis Blues can survive a game such as the one they played against the Blackhawks on Saturday, then they could be heading to the franchise’s first Stanley Cup. Forget their long history without a championship. Forget their six-game losing streak to end the season, which also dashed their hopes for the Presidents’ Trophy. Trailing 3-2 in the final minutes of the third period, the Blues cashed in on a huge opportunity after Chicago defenseman Brent Seabrook received a game misconduct for leveling David Backes with a shoulder to the head. On the ensuing power play, Vladimir Tarasenko’s clutch goal with 6.4 seconds left sent this one to overtime where Barret Jackman of all people gave the Blues a thrilling 4-3 victory and a 2-0 lead in their first-round series against defending champion Chicago. This St. Louis team appears to be maturing before our eyes.

    Here are a few things we took away from a Game 2 that was full of bumps, thumps and lead changes:

    Game recap | Box score | Highlights

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  • Published On Apr 19, 2014
  • Top Line: Lucic spear defended; race an issue in Kane criticism; more links

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    Top Line: Milan Lucic spear defended; race factor in Evander Kane criticism; more links

    Corey Perry (10) and Jamie Benn (14) sparked one of Friday’s below-the-belt controversies. (Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • Jerard Fagerberg isn’t just a beer-league goalie. He’s also a moral gymnast, judging by his defense of Milan Lucic’s cup-check on Danny DeKeyser. Strictly for Bruins fans or those who enjoy spikes in their blood pressure.

    • It was one of those nights. Corey Perry gave Jamie Benn an equipment adjustment as well.

    • No word on whether Lucic or Perry will face league discipline for jabbing another man’s midsection, but we do know the NHL frowns on grabbing one’s own junk.

    • Adam Proteau says you’re being naive if you don’t think criticism hurled at Evander Kane, Dustin Byfuglien and P.K. Subban is at least in part racially motivated. No one should be naive enough to assume it’s not a factor for at least some people, but that doesn’t mean it’s the prevailing influence. Still, it is a take worth reading. Read More…


  • Published On Apr 19, 2014
  • Top Line: Hurricanes to fire Kirk Muller?; Subban’s best; more links

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    Grant Halverson/Getty Images

    Kirk Muller, who became Carolina’s head coach in November 2011, may be on his way out soon. (Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • Larry Brooks covers a lot of ground in this week’s Sunday column, including his disdain for fans who rip Martin Brodeur for sticking around too long, a familiar name who could replace Mike Gillis in Vancouver, and an inevitable coaching change in Carolina.

    • Here’s one more reason to love P.K. Subban. Or, for some of you, one reason to love P.K. Subban.

    • Kevin Allen bravely takes on the fool’s errand of predicting the wild card races in the wake of last night’s whiplash-inducing action.

    • It’s a good thing the Leafs chose not to give fans the sweaters off their backs at their home finale. Otherwise this might have happened on a night when the crowd was more venomous than ever.

    • Is Evander Kane on the outs with the Jets? After he was listed as a healthy scratch for last night’s game, there’s obviously a bridge that needs to be repaired…or burned to the ground.

    Read More…


  • Published On Apr 06, 2014
  • Blues’ David Backes nets hat trick in offensive showcase against Maple Leafs

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    David Backes led the Blues' barrage of goals against Toronto, scoring three of the five. (Graig Abel/Getty Images)

    David Backes led the Blues’ barrage of goals against Toronto, scoring three of their five. (Graig Abel/Getty Images)

    By Darian Somers

    The Maple Leafs were under siege on Tuesday night in Toronto as the visiting Blues pumped 49 shots at netminder Jonathan Bernier en route to a 5-3 win.

    The Blues came out and unloaded 23 in the first period, two fewer shots than the Leafs’ total for in the entire game, as T.J. Oshie and David Backes scored. In the second period, the St. Louis outshot the Leafs, 13-7.

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  • Published On Mar 25, 2014
  • Top Line: Milan Lucic bar fight update; Antti Raanta “killed” ‘em; more links

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    Milan Lucic of the Boston Bruins was involved in a bar fight in Vancouver.

    It turned out to be a rough and tumble Western swing for the Bruins’ Milan Lucic. (Steven Alkok/Icon SMI)

    By Allan Muir

    An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • More details have emerged about the late-night incident involving Milan Lucic and an unnamed assailant. Looch looks better by the minute.

    • The Lucic incident is a reminder that players are always under scrutiny when they’re out in public and that any misstep is a potential YouTube nightmare.

    • Legal analyst Eric Macramella takes a look at the process and ramifications of Shawn Thornton’s decision to appeal his 15-game suspension.

    • What a lede: “On the day Blackhawks rookie goalie Antti Raanta got everybody killed, he had two rifles and a massive rocket launcher strapped to his back as he desperately clung to a motorcyclist driving upwards of 60 mph …”

    • Adam Oates found a way to get Alex Ovechkin’s offensive game back on track. Now, he’s trying to teach the star forward about the defensive side of the puck. If Oates can succeed at that, let’s not even bother voting on the Jack Adams Award, OK?

    • The Capitals are carrying three goalies right now, but that doesn’t mean they don’t believe in their No. 1 guy.

    • One veteran Olympian knows exactly what Steven Stamkos is going through. He made it back in time to represent his country, and believes the Team Canada hopeful will, too.

    Read More…


  • Published On Dec 17, 2013


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