There have been more than enough story lines so far this post season. From the strongest playoff goaltending I've seen in years to the continued effectiveness of the Russian Rocket, Vladimir Tarasenko. The talking heads on TV have made note of many of the heroes of this series. One seems to continue to fly under the radar.
Captain David Backes has played a big role in both of the teams 2 wins thus far. While he hasn't been as flashy as Tarasenko, the captain may have contributed more when it counted. This off season the knock on Backes was he disappeared in the playoffs. Reviewing his numbers, that was a hard point to argue against. So fa this year, Backes has contributed the game winning goal in game 1 and the assist on the game winning goal in game 3.
His game winner in the first game of the series was ugly. It was a pass across the middle that hit a defenders skate and ended up in the back of the net. People may be quick to dismiss it, but it was a real Backes play. He took the puck towards the corner where he can use his strength to his advantage should it be needed, and looked up for a play. The play came as his teammate streaked down the other side of the ice. Backes put the puck in a dangerous part of the ice during overtime and it payed off. Should this be the year the Blues win the cup, or at least get out of the first round no one will remember it being lucky, just that it was a winner.
His assist in game 3 was more talent than luck. With a tie game in the 3rd, the Blues had possession in Chicago's zone. Tarasenko, the team's most effective post season scorer had the puck. Instead of attempting to move through multiple defenders to find a shooting lane he saw Backes parked just behind the net. Backes had again been prowling the dirty parts of the ice. Tarasenko sent the puck low to Backes who sent it back in front to Schwartz. The pass was placed perfectly and softly enough to allow Schwartz an opportunity for a one timer. The area was swarming with Hawks. The pass had to be perfect and it was.
There is something different about these Blues, or at least a certain Chicago goalie says so. Maybe a small part of that is production from their captain.