There were mixed emotions from the St. Louis Blues following their 4-2 win over Philadelphia last night. On the positive tip, they won their second straight and got back to .500 for the year. On the negative, they lost captain David Backes to an apparent shoulder injury after he got nailed by Chris Pronger:
Backes left the game immediately and did not return, though the St. Louis Post-Dispatch noted he “wasn’t wearing any sort of apparatus on his shoulder afterward.” Still, the injury sent waves through the Blues dressing room — alternate captain Jamie Langenbrunner said it was “definitely tough” watching Backes leave the contest.
Some good news for the Blues this morning, though. According to Norm Sanders of the Belleville News Democrat, Blues head coach Davis Payne said, “[Backes] is feeling better this morning and that’s positive for us. Beyond that, we’re going to have to wait until the whole thing shakes out.”
Having recently completed a course in Coachspeak 101, “wait until the whole thing shakes out” means “we’ll reserve further judgment until the completion of medical tests and evaluations.” We’re here to help, folks.
Other notes from last night’s game:
— Payne benched TJ Oshie for the entire second period, which is odd considering Oshie scored his first goal of the season midway through the opening frame. No reason given for the move (though it’s been suggested a late-period turnover was the cause) as Payne called it an “in-game decision” while Oshie went the “no comment” route postgame.
— Brian Elliott started and won his second consecutive contest in goal while Jaroslav Halak, the subject of our Wednesday Wake-Up Call, watched from the bench. This situation really bears watching now as Payne offered a glowing review of Elliott’s play.
Flames keep showing life, Stars stumble once again
If you think the Dallas Stars are struggling because of defense more than anything else, then you’ll make sure to keep the video above “on file.”
There Kari Lehtonen was, helpless on a 2-on-0 rush for the Calgary Flames, which Johnny Gaudreau finished with calm and ease. For some, that goal is the symbol of the Stars’ season.
Either way, it was a painful goal in the Flames’ 2-1 win against the Stars. Calgary won despite Dallas firing 30 shots on goal versus the Flames’ 20.
One team climbing, the other stumbling
With that, the Flames are now on a four-game winning streak. Since falling to 5-10-1 on Nov. 12, the Flames have gone 9-3-1 in their last 13 games, pushing them to 14-13-2 overall. Gaudreau coming back is the icing on the cake after Chad Johnson really took charge of the Flames’ top job.
During a similar span, the Stars can’t seem to get it together. Dallas stood at 6-6-3 after beating the Oilers 3-2 on Nov. 11. They’re now 10-11-6, essentially standing in place as a .500 team.
Dallas can’t seem to get momentum going, a thought that might have left them envious of the team on the other end of the ice on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, it wasn’t just about Jack Eichel vs. Connor McDavid. Instead, it was a clash between a fleet of young scorers who were in their prime, with the Buffalo Sabres coming up on top against the Edmonton Oilers.