Homegrown Cody Ceci scored his first NHL goal in overtime to win one for the Ottawa Senators, while the Blues may get some bad news about captain David Backes.
Close your eyes and imagine scoring your first NHL goal, in the city you grew up in, to win a game in OT for the hometown team…
Now open them and watch this very scenario play out for Cody Ceci.
(Ceci's goal came moments after another shot of his shook up Blues goalie Brian Elliott as it appeared to hit him in the, er, difficult area. Talk about a kick in the pants.)
The 15th overall pick in the 2012 draft, Ceci was playing for the OHL's Ottawa 67's just last year, a team he was with for four seasons. He left the Canadian capital to play a grand total of 69 games with the Owen Sound Attack and AHL Binghamton and returned as an NHLer on Dec. 12. Five nights later, he's the toast of the town.
Ceci's goal lifted the Senators to an unlikely 3-2 win over the St. Louis Blues, who have to quickly turn around and head back to Missouri to take on the rested San Jose Sharks Tuesday night. But being tired may be the least of St. Louis' worries. Captain David Backes left the Ottawa game late in the second period after a harmless looking collision with Colin Greening. Backes didn't fall to the ice on the play, but did stumble on his way back to the bench and in the hallway. He left with an upper-body injury, which will stir concerns of a concussion.
While Alex Steen has been getting most of the spotlight in St. Louis, Backes has been every bit the force. With 30 points in 32 games, Backes' position as a productive leader on this team isn't anything new or shocking, as it is with Steen, so it's reasonable to question who the real catalyst is on this line. If Backes does have to sit out, it will be a defining period for Steen.
The stats say Steen has an unsustainably high shooting percentage (ranked fifth in the league) that will inevitably drop. Playing without Backes may expedite that course correction.