Backes and Johnson
Team USA Game 1
Everyone and their mother seems to be writing posts covering the Olympics and Team USA, but I felt as your home for Blues coverage, I should offer some thoughts on David Backes and Erik Johnson. Each skating in their first games as an Olympian, both representatives from our St. Louis Blues gave us plenty of reasons to be proud. Backes turned in a physical effort, topped off with a fantastic end-to-end goal to give the United States a 2-0 lead.
Overall, I think Johnson and Backes (Inglorious Backes!) made most Blues fans very proud as each played a very solid game of hockey against a sneaky Swiss side.
Backes looked like the Backes we saw last season – you know, the one who could score by the boatload and has been missing most of this season. His coast-to-coast goal really pushed the game the United States’ way and his physical work kept the Swiss from making the 3-1 win any closer than it was.
Erik Johnson busted out in the first period and played terrific in my opinion. He pinched in and helped keep the USA effort in the Swiss end of the ice. He rang a few wristers at the end which led to some scoring chances for the US. In the back, he played solid defense and did about as well as a guy could do when partnering with unfamiliar faces.
There was one moment that caused Blues nation to hold their breath, and that was when a collision caused Johnson to be slow to rise to his feet, leading many fans to pray that the former first pick wasn’t injured. Thankfully, Johnson skated well following the collision, and the worst case scenario was avoided.
Still, despite their performances, that really is the bottom line from my point of view. I want the USA to win as much as the next person – but I don’t want to see either Johnson or Backes dinged up when they come back to the Blues. This goes for every team around the league, not just our Blues. One big injury in the Olympic games could have huge implications for the remainder of the season and could influence a team’s Stanley Cup hopes.
One game down, one win in the bag and two Blues that are making the stars and stripes proud. The road ahead is tough, and the games will not get any easier, but you can bet on getting breakdowns on your Blues representatives here at FrozenNotes.