David Backes

Backes says Blues will come back: “We’ll start with a win in Game 4”


If history ends up repeating itself, David Backes will look like a genius.

If it doesn’t, his season will be over.

That’s the situation at play after the St. Louis Blues lost 4-2 to the Kings on Thursday night, falling into an 0-3 series deficit.

This marks the second straight round LA has jumped out to a three games to none lead. They did the same to Vancouver before losing Game 4, then rallying to win Game 5 in OT.

After Thursday’s loss, Backes said the Blues would do the same thing the Canucks did — win their first elimination game.

“We thought about seven games at the beginning of the series and that’s what it’s going to take for us to have success,” he told reporters. “We will start with a win in Game 4.”

If the Blues want to push the series back to St. Louis, they’re going to need better goaltending. On Thursday, Brian Elliott was shakier than a seismograph on the San Andreas Fault, allowing this bad-angle goal to Mike Richards:

Later, he failed to squeeze the pads on a Drew Doughty shot:

Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock wouldn’t throw Elliott under the bus with his postgame comments, but hinted those mistakes decided the outcome.

“We mounted the comeback, made it 1-1, and then gave up the quick goal again,” he said. “And then when we had it 3-2, miss those two great chances and we let up another goal quickly after that.

“They are momentum goals on their side in the three games. That’s a fine line between winning and losing. They’re on top of their game right now. Have been for a little while.”

Here are the 10 oldest players to play a game this season

Jaromir Jagr
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This isn’t breaking news or anything. We just thought you’d like to know that three of the NHL’s 10 oldest players (who’ve played at least one game this season) are members of the Florida Panthers.

Oh, and the Panthers’ starting goalie? He’s the oldest starter in the league. (Scroll down.)

Here’s the list of skaters, topped by 43-year-old Jaromir Jagr:


Yet another veteran Panther, 36-year-old defenseman Brian Campbell, ranks 17th on the list.

Granted, the above list does not include 39-year-old Patrik Elias (who’s hurt) or 39-year-old Eric Boulton (who just re-signed with the Isles). As soon as those two play, Thornton will get pushed out of the top 10.

Now here’s the list of goalies who’ve started at least one game this season, topped by 36-year-old Roberto Luongo:


For the record, Luongo isn’t the oldest goalie under contract. That would be Minnesota’s Niklas Backstrom, who’s 37.

Related: Can Florida’s old guys hang on while the young guys get better?

Hamburglar (groin) returns, Sens demote O’Connor

Andrew Hammond
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Matt O'Connor‘s time in the Canadian capital was brief, but still noteworthy.

O’Connor, the losing netminder in Sunday’s “Battle of the Backups” against Montreal — Habs No. 2 Mike Condon got the win — has been sent down to AHL Binghamton to pave the way for Andrew Hammond‘s return from a groin injury, per the Sun.

The Hamburglar has been out since the preseason, but his return is earlier than expected.

He was originally supposed to miss the first two weeks, yet now sounds as though he’ll play one of Ottawa’s two games on an upcoming road trip through Columbus and Pittsburgh.

It’s going to be interesting to see if Hammond can replicate the success he had last season, when he came out of nowhere to go 20-1-2 with a 1.79 GAA and .941 save percentage, and finish seventh in Vezina voting.