Here is my 20 in 20 segment where I will be discussing and reviewing 20 players in 20 days for the St. Louis Blues.
David Backes – What is there bad to say about the Blues beloved captain and probably one of the most liked players on the team. Backes has played consistently well since he burst onto the scene with the Blues in 2006-2007. He has hit the 30+ goal mark in his career twice and doesn’t look to be slowing down. Not only can he post 50-60 points per season, but he is also one of the most fearless and loyal players in the game. He is not afraid to stick up for his teammates and will step in to scrap if necessary. Backes had 165 penalty minutes in 08-09 and has consistently remained around 100 penalty minutes since then. Sometimes we don’t see this enough from other captains around the league, but it is sometimes needed to energize a team. Not only this, but Backes has recently been nominated for a Selke Award a few months ago which awards the best defensive player. Backes led all Blues forwards with an average ice time of 19:59 and started his shifts in the offensive zone only 46% of the time which was fewest on the team. To be nominated for a Selke alongside Pavel Datsyuk and Patrice Bergeron is a great accomplishment. Even though he didn’t win, it is nice to see his effort and dedication be recognized. Keep in mind he is still 28 years old and still has a bright future ahead of him. If Backes continues this leadership and work ethic with this strong team, the Blues will continue to be contenders.
Alex Steen – Steen started his NHL career not with the Blues, but with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He played well for the Leafs for 3 1/2 seasons and was then traded with Carlo Colaiacovo to the Blues in exchange for Lee Stempniak. It seems the Blues won this deal as Stempniak is no longer with the Leafs and his numbers have been declining since his departure from St. Louis. Steen played his best season in 2010-2011 where he hit 51 points in 72 games. However, this past season he suffered from a concussion and missed 39 games due to concussion symptoms. Before he got injured, he was on pace for another great year where he had 13 goals and 24 points in 36 games. He finished the season with 28 points in 43 games and stayed healthy for the playoffs. The offseason has given Steen time to rest and hopefully he will be 100% for the next season and he can play to his full potential. He is a very important piece to the top 6 and provides the depth that the Blues need in order to win a Stanley Cup.
Follow me on twitter @TonyMoreno20 for more updates and discussions.