Successful All-Star Weekend for Backes
You really couldn't have asked for a better showing from David Backes this weekend as he represented the Blues in both the NHL Skills Competition and NHL All-Star Game. While Backes' performance wasn't one of the flashier ones we saw this weekend, it was one that made St. Louis proud. With his quite demeanor, the team's lone representative held his own in the skills competition and chipped in a few assists for Team Staal in Sunday's All-Star Game.
Chosen to compete in both the nimble skating portion of the team relay and later the hardest shot competition, neither really seemed to suit Backes' style of well ... destroying his opponents on the ice with hard hits and a strong work ethic.
In the relay portion of the skills competition, Backes weaved in and out of mock Gatorade bottles on the ice and showed some pretty solid skills in an area we may not usually associate with number 42. No mistakes, just get in, get out and get the job done.
Later, Backes was involved in the hardest shot competition, opposing Brent Burns of the Minnesota Wild. Each skater had two chances to launch their hardest shot at the net. Now, think for a second - how often do we see Backes take a slapper? Not too often.
Still, Backes' best effort reached 96.9 on the gun. His effort wasn't enough to best Burns, but he did find his shot right in the middle of the pack of guys that competed, surpassing several guys that one would think would have the heavier shot.
Then came the game itself. In the usual high-scoring affair that is the All-Star Game, Backes made sure to contribute, assisting on three of his team's goals. Nothing overly impressive, but then again his skills really aren't harnessed in an exhibition where you aren't supposed to rough up your opponent.
While he didn't steal the headlines, his overall performance is really exactly what you'd expect - a complete effort.
Now Backes will return to his usual teammates and hopefully turn the tide on the Blues' season starting with a very important contest on Tuesday.