Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Mikael Backlund Autograph Card

With three points and a +4 showing in his last 4 games, Mikael Backlund is on a hot streak that coincides with that of the Calgary Flames as a whole, with an 8-2-0 showing in their last 10 games. He's getting some ice time with Johnny Gaudreau and is usually playing in the final minute when the other team takes their goalie out of their net, which shows coach Bob Hartley's trust in his defensive game.

Now having to contend with minutes in the middle with the likes of Sean Monahan and Sam Bennett, the play-making genius from Vasteras, Sweden has seemingly found a way to maximize his ice time and contribute on a regular basis, though perhaps not at the level that people such as myself once envisioned - I thought he would hover between 45 and 60 points per season, but his best year so far saw him post 18 goals and 21 assists for 39 points in 76 games in 2013-14.

Then again, it's a different NHL, where the Art Ross winner didn't get 90 points last year, Alex Ovechkin is the only player who is able to score 50 goals, and first-liners and elite players such as Jonathan Toews reached the 70-point mark just once, let alone the point-per-game average. These are unique times in pro hockey in general, with the KHL also being really tough to score in (and where goalies usually have a GAA below 2.00).

That being said, I still traded for this card showing him in the Flames' red uniform, though I'm now looking for one of his with the throwback jersey:
It's card #I-MBA from Panini's 2013-14 Contenders collection (and more specifically, the NHL Ink sub-set). It's signed on-card in thin blue sharpie.

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