Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: david backes
The Wall Street Journal's Brian Costa spoke with Nashville Predators GM and Team USA GM David Poile and several of his likely Olympic team players about the differences between the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver and those to be held in Sochi in February. He brings up one point we've already heard being discussed--the soccer-like style and pace of play that European teams tend to play on 200-foot-long by 100-foot-wide rinks (as opposed to North American rinks, which are 85 feet wide)...
The difference between Vancouver, where the U.S. won silver in 2010, and Sochi isn't so much about geography as it is space. In the U.S. and Canada, the standard rink size is 85 feet wide. In Europe, rinks are 100 feet wide. A smaller playing surface lends itself to the more aggressive, bruising style of play that dominates the NHL. On the larger European surface, it's more a game of speed and finesse.
"The difference is a lot bigger than fans think," said Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman and Team USA hopeful Paul Martin. "You have more room to cover, especially around the nets."
And he duly notes the reason why Team Canada's World Junior team now brings its own chefs to overseas tournaments, and the vast majority of players will have difficulty finding palatable food, "comfort zones" in terms of their accommodations and might deal with a bit of culture shock in Sochi, where we've been told that "there's nothing to do" at the Olympic facilities in terms of filling free time because they're still being constructed:
St. Louis Blues captain David Backes and his wife Kelly have announced their new public foundation Athletes for Animals.
Athletes for Animals is designed to bring professional athletes together in support of companion animals across the country. The Backes’ were inspired by nearly a decade of animal welfare and rescue efforts and decided that it was time to make a larger impact on the lives of homeless companion animals nationwide.
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
What is the difference in mindset and pressure when you expect to make the playoffs, like the Blues do now, as opposed to the time when you were just hoping to get there?
"I think when you're hoping to make the playoffs, you think it's OK to fail and you think about, 'Oh, we lost tonight, but we were slotted to not make the playoffs anyway.' There is always a desire to win, but when it doesn't happen you say, 'If this was different,' or, 'If we had a better team.' There are excuses when you're not expecting it.
"When you're expecting to make the playoffs, it's, 'Let's see results.' If you're not getting them, you're in a mode where things are going to change. I don't think of it as pressure, I think of it as expectations, and when you're prepared for those expectations you don't see it as pressure. I don't think they're parallel by any means."
David Backes received a 5 minute major and a match for this hit to the head of Kent Huskins.
from of Yahoo,
Sometime after 6:30 p.m., Hitchcock called from his car – probably somewhere on I-70 or I-71 – as he made the seven-hour drive from his last stop in Columbus, Ohio, to what would be his renaissance in St. Louis. They spoke for about an hour.
Hitchcock told (David) Backes he put a lot of trust in his captains and expected a lot of them, too. He told him to lead by example, to try to inspire others to follow, to make sure the Blues were tough to play against, to never give anyone free ice. He explained what had to change immediately and what would take time.
“It was a good conversation, time well spent,” Backes said. “As you can see, the results have proven themselves.”
The Blues beat the Blackhawks that Tuesday night, 3-0. They have gone 23-6-7 since Hitchcock’s arrival. They’re in the thick of the NHL’s toughest division – heading into Friday’s action they are six points behind the league-leading Detroit Red Wings, one point behind the Nashville Predators and tied with the Blackhawks, with three games in hand on all three of them.
And Backes has been a big key.
I am a bit suprised David Backes did not anticipate the hit from Chris Pronger.
ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Blues Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Armstrong along with Head Coach Davis Payne announced today the club has named David Backes the 20th captain in franchise history. In addition, the club named Barret Jackman, Jamie Langenbrunner, Andy McDonald and Alex Steen assistant captains.
ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Blues Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Armstrong announced today the club has signed forward David Backes to a five-year contract extension.
“David could have been an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season and we are excited that he has made the long term commitment to the Blues organization,” said Armstrong. “The way he handles himself on and off the ice represents what the Blues are all about.”
“I am ecstatic to have this deal signed and to be a Blue for many years to come,” said Backes. “My wife and I love this city and these fans have been nothing but great to us. This is a great organization to play for, from top to bottom, and we expect to be a top team in this league.”
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
David Backes is another benefit of the collective bargaining agreement’s liberalized free-agent rules. The power winger will be eligible for unrestricted free agency July 1 and will turn 27 years old May 1.
There were preliminary talks between Backes’ camp and the St. Louis Blues before the season, but those talks have since been shelved ... for now. If I’m a betting man, I believe the Blues will pick up the phone again in 2011.
“It’s a dynamic situation,” Backes told ESPN.com on Tuesday. “Being an unrestricted free agent, they obviously can’t lose me for nothing and not get anything back. I need to have a good year to establish myself. I think they like me, and I love St. Louis. Hopefully something will get done during the season, but obviously there’s a business side to this game that if we can’t come to terms, then unfortunately we’ll have to maybe part ways.”
I don’t see this guy leaving St. Louis. My money’s on GM Doug Armstrong and agent Wade Arnott of Newport Sports Management figuring this out before July 1.
read on for some Leafs and Panthers talk…
from Craig Custance of The Sporting News,
SN: From here, it looks like St. Louis has plenty of cap space and a team ready for a big free-agent addition. Are you disappointed by the lack of big moves from the front office this summer?
DB: I think they’re being smart about it. You don’t necessarily want to spend all your money and commit to long-term contracts to someone looking for the highest bidder. … We’re not spending to the cap but now we’ve got that room to add a few other trinkets to the puzzle in the season that other teams don’t have.
NHL On The Fly discussed this hit from David Backes against Brian Rafalski last night and said the NHL will be watching for these types of hits.
You have to keep your eye on Rafalski as he dumps the puck in towards Conklin.
from Kevin Allen of Mucking and Grinding,
In last spring’s World Championships, Backes laid a hit on Sprunger, causing a major neck injury that required surgery.
After Tuesday’s USA-Switzerland game, Sprunger told ESPN.com writer Pierre Lebrun that during the game Backes essentially threatened to do it again.
Backes denied saying that.
“I think I told him to keep his head up when he was running around a little bit,” Backes said. “I always take it as a compliment when other teams come at me. It means you are doing your job.”
from Michael of The Common Room,
David Backes is an American professional hockey player currently playing for the St. Louis Blues. On New Years, David had the privilege to be named to the USA Olympic Hockey Team.
Since then, he has shown what it means to be a true American hero.
The night after he was named to the Olympic Roster, Backes and the Blues took on the Chicago Blackhawks. During that game, David fought Canadian Olympian Jonathan Toews.
“I don’t know what happened there. Kind of one of those games where you black out and then next thing you know, people are patting you on the back.
“A great effort by a few of my linemates, setting me up on goals, and a great team effort there at the end to clamp down against a team that never gave up against us.”
-David Backes of the St. Louis Blues after his 4 goal performance last night. More on the Blues win from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.