How any of you are questioning David Backes' leadership is absurd to me. The man was out there wrecking everything that moved, bleeding everywhere, and yelling at teammates the entire game. Get your heads on straight.
Who's overrating him? Nobody thinks he's anything more than a #2C (or a #3C ideally). Do you disagree with that?
The guy's on pace for 30+ goals. I'm guessing most teams would be pretty happy with that out of their #2 center, regardless of what his assist totals happen to be.
Second line players have flaws, and tend to be inconsistent. That's what separates second line players from first line players.
If the team was playing well, this wouldn't be an issue. But they aren't so we're thrashing around looking for whatever scapegoats we can. So far tonight we've tabbed Hitchcock, Backes, Perron, and Berglund. Have I missed anyone?
Shattenkirk? Cole? Ray Barile (not patching up Backes's face good enough).
That's a bit disingenuous. Under Murray, most of this core was barely playing because they were so young. They certainly weren't the competitive foundation of the team at the time. Payne was hardly a proven head coach, and the biggest reason he was fired was because Armstrong was convinced Hitchcock was "the guy" for this team.
The first time this core had reasonable/significant playoff aspirations was last year, and they won a playoff series.
The first time a large chunk of this core had reasonable/significant playoff aspirations was in 09-10. The year after they made the playoffs and got swept by Vancouver.
Members of this core that were around in 09-10:
I'm not sure which guys you think were barely playing. Perron averaged 16 minutes a night, Oshie 18 minutes, and Berglund less than 14 because he was absolutely dreadful that year. The rest were more experienced.
Were some guys of this core not part of that team? Yes. But there is a large chunk of this core that was.
The Blues also had playoff aspirations in 10-11 after acquiring Jaroslav Halak, the goalie that led MTL to the Conference Finals, and adding Alex Pietrangelo to the back end. Everyone went on about the young core having another season under their belt and being ready to contend. Especially after finishing the previous season strong under Davis Payne. The disappointing season led to a shakeup that involved Erik Johnson getting traded.
Then there is no sugar coating it. This core got Davis Payne fired. No excuses or ways around it. Tonight's game is exactly what we saw to start out last year.
Overall, we have seen more disappointment from this core than anything. They have a nice run after each coach is fired but then it's back to mediocrity and inconsistency the next year then boom, a coach is fired again. What is so great about this core that it can't be shaken up?
Unless there's an injury...I can't possibly fathom an NHL team carrying 3 healthy goalies.
I asked JR that and he said both Jaro and Ells were fine in the locker room following the game. Seems like the choices are either carry 3 goalies, or expose Ells to waivers which is not that big of a deal as long as Jaro stays healthy. If he doesn't, we would have to run with a Allen/McKenna tandem which all but guarantees missing the playoffs.