We all know tonight's going to be an emotional night. David Backes played ten years here, captained the Blues for five, and was the backbone of the Blues' leadership group before leaving as an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Everyone has their feelings about Backes. Was he a detriment? Was his hard-nosed style something the Blues miss this season? Is it the reason he was slowing down a step? Did his leadership guide the team in the right direction?
There was some concern regarding whether Backes would play tonight due to a concussion that he suffered. He missed three games and returned with a goal in the Bruins' 4-0 win over the Panthers Saturday night. He'll be on the bench for the inevitable tribute video. It'll be tough; Backes himself recognized that fact in an interview with Amalie Benjamin of NHL.com:
"I'm going to try not to cry."
He thinks of everything he gave to the Blues, everything his wife gave too. He thinks about what it might mean to see himself on the video board, to see his wife there, to see what he meant to the community and what it meant to him.
"That might put me over the top, no matter what's happening in the moment," Backes said. "May need a couple shifts off from Claude [Julien]."
You'll get a standing ovation, David. This is St. Louis.
And this is your morning open thread. Toss out some predictions for tonight's game, read Rick's Lighting the Lamp, come back for the preview, and head on to the Game Day Thread. We have some Backes-centric stuff planned, so make sure you check that out, and for sure say hi to our friends at Stanley Cup of Chowder.