A thread on trade board got me wondering who the fan-base considers to be the teams BEST forward. Feel free to define 'best' any way you'd like. Certainly different criteria will cause different results.
So if a new fan to the sport asked you who the Blues best forward was, who would be your immediate response?
Last edited by Stealth JD: 12-02-2011 at 12:08 PM.
I went with Backes, I do not think that the is the most talented but I do think that he is the most complete and one of the most consistent. Ask me a a few months from now and my answer may change. Ask me before the season started and I would have said Stewart.
Either Backes or Steen IMO. Steener's so underrated. He doesn't have superstar skills but he does everything very well. Very smart, super tenacious, good skill, good defensively...he can do it all. People have been mentioning Backes' name in regards to the Selke but I think Steen's a good Selke candidate as well.
Tie between Backes and Oshie. Oshie has a little more skill but Backes is a little bigger and stronger and scores more. IMO, Backes has reached his peak and Oshie hasn't. My two favorite Blues players, with Petro 3rd.
Steen is definitely one of the main reasons we win games at all. Still, Backes just does everything, because he can, not because he has to; even when he scores it's the goals that matter not build a bigger lead (well not the empty net ones but still).
Right now its Backes, this team has to get the second line going or they are going to run into trouble. Its great that they are winning these one goal games right now but once the goaltending cools down to a human level they are going to need more scoring.
It's a lot closer than the voting will show because a lot of people will choose Backes by a small amount. You basically cannot go wrong with any of Backes, Steen, or Oshie, especially if they all sustain their current level of play. Steen is the most consistent and makes his linemates better. He's also the best forechecker of the three. Backes is a better goalscorer and hitter. Oshie has niftier hands, reads the play a bit better offensively, and plays in a style that's basically between Backes and Steen. In any given game, week, or month, any one of them could be the answer. But Backes has higher point totals, the rarer, flashier abilities in size and goals, and is el capitan, so it's no surprise that he gets the nod.
Perron is interesting. He has the ability to be a considerably higher level scorer than the other guys while also having a good two-way game. We'll have to wait to judge, but in just a year's time, he could be leading this (but I expect to give him a lot more to really establish himself again). Then again, we could see some big Russian fireworks by then, too, but I'm guessing it'll be a season or two before he's in the "overall" conversation.
Yes he does have great balance when hitting, but how many times is he on the ice and not his skates.
I think it's part of his play style, honestly. He throws himself around. I rarely think "Oshie is out of the play because he's on the ice." It's much more frequently, "damn, what an effort," because he made a play. I don't think his skating ability compares to guys like Steen, Sobotka, McDonald, or D'Agostini, but I don't think falling down is necessarily a good indicator here.
His low center of gravity is one of the keys to his success. The dude is uncanny, and that's what allows him to load up for hits with such a short lead. He is all about leverage. Reverse hits demonstrate pretty remarkable sense of balance, in my opinion. I think he broke his ankle last year because his balance is so good (put too much stress on the bone as he refused to lose his skates).
I'd rate Backes ahead of Oshie more for the intangible qualities and leadership. He brings it more consistently, and seems to be able to manufacture a goal when its most badly needed. Oshie's shoot-out prowess can't be discounted, but I think the team would lose more with Backes being out than Oshie.
I'm really glad we get to enjoy both of them on the team, though.