Last year, mi amigos at St. Louis Game Time staged a "Jay McClement for Selke" campaign that went pretty strongly until Silent Jay was traded to the Colorado Avalanche. This year, Blues fans and any one with a set of eyes has been hoping that David Backes would crack the top three vote getters. Lo and behold, he has.
From the Blues' press-release:
Besides his team-high totals of 24 goals and 54 points, Backes led Blues forwards with an average ice time of 19:59 while posting a plus-15 rating. He started just 46 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone, the second-fewest of any Blues forward who played at least 10 games, but finished 52.4 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone, meaning he was able to turn defense into offense better than any player on the team.
Backes also led all NHL forwards in advanced metrics website Behind the Net's Quality of Competition rating, meaning the players he skated against had the highest average plus/minus rating.
He led the team with 226 hits and all Blues forwards with 72 blocked shots, while his 50 takeaways were second on the team. He won just 48.6 percent of his faceoffs, but took the most on the team at 1,353.
Basically, when you're the best defensive player on the league's best defensive team, you might as well be given the Selke sans-vote. Of course, since he's up against Pavel Datsyuk, that probably won't happen. Still, it's great to see Backes get recognized for yet another excellent season.