Thread: Proposal: Backlund v/s Horak
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11-05-2012, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by SmellOfVictory View Post
Not be too argumentative (guess I can't help it) but I don't see why people view Horak as having transitioned better to the NHL. Horak put up 11 points in 61 games as a 20 year old in the NHL. Backlund, at the same age, put up 10 points in 23 games.

Backlund didn't make the team out of camp, but that was a Flames team with legitimate centre depth, and Backlund wasn't the centrepiece of a trade that involved having to give up the Flames' highest-rated prospect.

edit: Just to add to Gleninator's last post: last season, despite being on the 3rd line, Backs was matched up against top 6 players. He played better opponents from a greater territorial disadvantage than anyone on the team (polar opposite of the way Horak's line was handled); Iginla/Jokinen lines were given greater territorial advantage against top 6 players, Blair Jones was used as a checker against bottom 6ers, and Horak was treated with kid gloves (nothing wrong with that at his age, but it's important when comparing him to Backlund). In terms of possession numbers against bottom 6 players, Horak did okay, whereas Backlund absolutely murdered them in previous seasons when he was on the 4th line.

Horak may have taken a significant step forward. He may end up being a top 6 centre. At this point, however, I would consider him a complete unknown until he actually performs that way in the NHL. Until then, Backlund was historically the better player at the same age, and is more likely to hit that top 6 capability.
It's the "hype train", if you will. Anybody recall when Bourque scored 5 goals in 2 games and suddenly he was better than Iginla?

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