With high expectations from the fans, much of the success or failure of this season for the St. Louis Blues rides on the shoulders of David Backes.
Named to the All-Star Game last season, Backes racked up a very solid 31 goals and 62 points last season, all the while amassing 93 PIMS and a +32 rating. While not exactly the season many were hoping for from the team, Backes had a rebound from the year prior, and hopes for that trend to continue.
The question is, however, can David Backes consistently be a top level scoring threat in the NHL? Sure, he has hit the 30 goal mark twice in his five year career, but in his other three years combined he has only managed 40 total goals. So what, exactly, is he?
In my opinion, we are just now seeing the full of Backes' offensive potential. With better, more consistent linemates this season, and more gritty veteran presence to take some of the physical load off of his shoulders, I would expect to see Backes hit around the 35 goal mark next season, as well as reach around 70 points, making him yet another star from the already otherworldly 2003 NHL Draft class.
Should Backes reach those heights, the Blues should be well poised for another crack at the postseason this upcoming year.
So tell me, folks, does David Backes have what it takes to lead the Blues back into the post-season not with his fists, but with his skill?
Thanks for the support!