Many Blues fans believe that the NHL snubbed forward David Backes by not sending him an invitation to this month’s All-Star game.
Backes’ four-point performance Saturday in a 4-2 victory over Buffalo, when he had a hand in each of the Blues’ goals, will only amplify those sentiments.
Backes left the game momentarily in the first period after crashing hard into the boards, but he returned and posted two goals and two assists.
“We had a lot of good players today, led by our captain,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. “David (Backes) came back just like a bear and really went to work there. He was a major reason we won the hockey game today.”
Backes’ Blues teammates selected him as the “Weenie of the Game.” In the past, the club’s MVP of the game was presented with the “Hard Hat.” But recently, the players brought a hat that on the top has a massive hot dog on a bun. He said that other players were supposed to wear it recently during post-game interviews, but all were too bashful.
“I’m the Weenie of the Game,” Backes said. “Other guys are supposed to be doing their interviews in it when they win it. The heart and soul guys, instead of wearing hard hats, they wanted weenie of the game, so this is what we go with.
“We’ve been doing it for maybe six, seven, eight games here … apparently the weenie of the game for them stops at the buzzer. But I’m going to relish this for the rest of the night.”
Backes matched his career-high with four points and will head into Monday’s game at Detroit with a club-high 16 goals and 37 points.
After slow start, Blues protect their house again
–The Blues trailed Buffalo 1-0 after the first period, but avoided what would have been an embarrassing loss at home to a Sabres’ team that had dropped 11 consecutive road decisions. The Blues improved to 8-0-1 in their last nine games and are now 21-3-3 at Scottrade Center, just two home wins shy of what they ended with in 2010-11. “It wasn’t a great first period, but they get one (goal) and we’re not too far out of it,” Blue captain David Backes said.
“We had a few great chances that we didn’t bury, but in the end, we know that we can’t try and change our game to be a run-and-gun, turn-and-burn, let’s have a track race kind of game. … That’s just not the way we are. We need to play hard and win battles and wear on teams. When we do that, we stick to our game, and good things happen.”
–Former Blue Brad Boyes returned to St. Louis Saturday for the first time since St. Louis traded him to the Buffalo Sabres last February. Boyes was held off the scoreboard against his former team, keeping him at three goals through 35 games. It has been a difficult couple of years for Boyes, who had 76 goals with the Blues from 2007-10. He’s in the final year of a four-year, 16 million contract he signed with the Blues, who shed his 4 million salary this season and received a second-round draft pick, which they used on defensive prospect Joel Edmundson. “It’s been tough and frustrating for me,” Boyes said. “I’ve gone through stretches, but this is obviously something that’s a little different.”
QUOTE TO NOTE: “It was definitely a little tough to see that news, but he deserves it. It’s a well-deserving contract, so you can’t get mad at the Blues for doing anything like that. My situation, I’m playing well (in Peoria), so I’ve just got to keep it up and focus on my team down here. There’s obviously some writing on the wall, but at the same time, you never know what can happen.” — Blues goaltending prospect Ben Bishop, after the club re-signed Brian Elliott to a new two-year, 3.6 million contract.
–G Jaroslav Halak fell short of a third consecutive shutout, but he set a career-long shutout streak of 164 minutes, 38 seconds before Buffalo’s Mike Weber scored in the first period. Halak made 19 saves in the Blues’ 4-2 victory, improving to 11-0-3 in his last 14 games.
–C David Backes matched a career high point total with four points in a 4-2 win over Buffalo Saturday. He had two goals, including an empty-netter, and had two assists. Backes leads the Blues with 16 goals and 37 points this season.
–D Alex Pietrangelo stretched out his career-high points streak to nine games with two assists in the Blues’ 4-2 win over the Sabres. Pietrangelo has 13 points (3 goals, 10 assists) in those nine games. The franchise record for points streak by a defenseman is 10 games, set by Jeff Brown in 1992-93.