Ring or Rink?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Where does David Backes belong? Sometimes you wonder: Should he just take up fighting?

The answer is no.

He plays a key role for the St. Louis Blues and has the potential to be a top forward in the NHL. This player is a strong wing or center, has a unique hockey sense, and has size. Now why isn’t David playing for your team?

The reason is simple. In 2003, Backes was snatched up by St. Louis in the 2nd round, 62nd selection overall. He didn’t play with the team right away though. At the time when he was drafted, he was playing in the USHL for the Lincoln Stars. There he played 57 games in 2002-2003, scoring 28 goals and totaling 69 points. While he stacked up the points, his penalty minutes reached 126 that year.

He’s added his scoring touch and physicality to every team he’s played for. In college, he played for Minnesota State University, leading his team in points both in 2004-2005 and 2005-2006. During those two seasons, his penalty minutes equaled 146. Backes served as captain for the 2005-2006 season, which means he knows how to be a leader on a team. He played here to finish his three seasons with them, before moving up to St. Louis’ minor league system.

In 2005, he started playing for the Peoria Rivermen, the St.Louis Blues’ minor league team. He transferred to them after his college season ended. During that time he played only a total of 12 games, tallying 5 goals and 5 assists for 10 points. He began the 2006-2007 season with Peoria, playing 27 games before getting called up, and played a total of 31 games with them. There he scored 10 goals, to make 13 points that season.

That same year, Backes got the call every player waits for. He was called up to play for the St. Louis Blues. He played in his first NHL game on December 19th against the Pittsburgh Penguins. On his very first NHL shift, he recorded his first NHL point with an assist on teammate Doug Weight’s goal. Two days later came an even bigger memory for David. He scored his first NHL goal versus the Los Angeles Kings, beating goalie Dan Cloutier. That season, he recorded 10 goals.

In 2007-2008, playing in almost every game missing only 10, he scored 13 goals. Since then his career high in goals is in the making. Currently, he leads his team in penalty minutes with a total of 119 so far. His career high in goals is in the making. As of right now he has 15 goals through 44 games before entering Monday’s matinee game versus the red hot Bruins.

When running a search on this player, don’t be fooled when all you get is his fighting. There is much more behind this six foot three, 216 pound player. David Backes is the type of player you need on your team when you’re playing the New Jersey Devils. Most of his goals come top-shelf which is the way to go when playing goaltender Marty Brodeur.

If he continues with his focus and hard work he has the potential to become a feared opponent to face.

Komisarek - A Must Hab

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Mike Komisarek, a defenseman for the Montreal Canadiens, plays a very physical style of hockey. Being a defenseman, he has to have a good back-check which includes physical play.

Komisarek is a big part of the Canadiens’ hockey club. He’s an enforcer and brings his game every night with all of his big body-checks and shot blocking. Mike has withstood many power driven slapshots and has been known to say, one of the hardest shots came from six foot nine Zdeno Chara.

Second in the NHL for hits during the 2007-2008 season, he was only behind LA’s Dustin Brown. Although being a physical guy is a good quality to have, it can have its downside as well. He has spent 51 minutes in the box through 25 games so far this year and had reached 101 penalty minutes through 75 games last season. His teammates have said he is a big presence to have represented on the ice and they would rather have him out there than in the sin bin. Defenseman teammate Josh Gorges has said "And he did a great job not fighting him (Lucic) too, because we need Komo on the ice. In playoff hockey, you have to be smart, and you can't let those little things get to you. He plays such a big role and plays a lot of minutes for us.”

Komisarek also shows leadership for the Habs. Coach Guy Carbonneau once spoke of his appreciation for Mike. “Komo has been awesome. He has really taken a leadership role. He's in his third year now and he's a big part of our club.” Mike Komisarek shows much potential for the Canadiens’ future.

As everyone knows, the Canadiens have a very passionate rival with the Boston Bruins, and games like that don’t even need any extra building up. Most fans have seen throughout last season’s playoffs and through the games that they have played each other so far this year that Komisarek has Milan Lucic’s number on his mind. These two battled each other with much physicality in last year’s first round playoffs, but never dropped the gloves. Not until November 13th of 2008. The two finally had their go at it.

Komisarek is definitely not a player afraid to drop the gloves. It took him 123 games to finally score his first NHL goal and approximately only 10 games for his first NHL fight. He might not light up the scoreboard all that much as do other defenseman in this league, but he does contribute a huge amount on the defensive side which can create turnovers that lead to goals.

His reputation throughout the league is that of an agitator who likes to get under the skin of players, trying to throw them off their game. Every game he plays, as every season goes by, he matures into a more experienced, complete player. His future in Montreal looks bright, and fans must also see this as he’s a starter for the 2008-2009 All-Star Game.
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