I'm watching the Blues-Red Wings game tonight, which has about four minutes to go in the third period. David Backes, who scored two quick goals in the second and added the hat trick goal to start the third, just put in his fourth of the night and 30th of the season.
He's quietly been one of the hottest players in the NHL over the second half. I'll crunch some of the numbers on that and post them here shortly.
St. Louis is now up 5-4 and looking very, very good. This would be a terrific first-round matchup.
UPDATE The Blues hold on to win by the same score, beating Detroit for the first time this season. Pretty impressive outing by St. Louis, all in all, although the Red Wings goaltending — with Ty Conklin between the pipes — was an issue again.
UPDATE All right, here's the scoop on Backes:
He's now up to being tied for 21st in NHL goal scoring with 30 in 78 games played. The 24-year-old Minneapolis native had only 23 in his first two NHL seasons combined, but has played about 18 minutes a night and looked comfortable doing it in his third campaign.
Backes started the season with only one goal in his first seven games and three in his first 21, so he's potted 27 in the last 57 games. He now has 12 in his last 15, although that's definitely skewed a bit by the huge night tonight. Backes has been on a 40-goal, nearly a point a game pace the past 40 games.
In the past 30 days, he's the highest scoring player in the NHL (12 goals).
My guess is the Team USA brass are watching.
|Players||Goals in last 30 days
* note that list is prior to the late games tonight