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5 Blues to Play in World Championships

by Staff Writer / St. Louis Blues

  Team Position GP G A P +/- PIM
David Backes USA Forward 9 1 4 5 +3 33
T.J. Oshie USA Forward 9 1 2 3 +2 2
Patrik Berglund SWE Forward 7 0 1 1 +2 0
Roman Polak CZE Defense 7 0 1 1 +7 6

  Team Position GP W L GAA SV% SO
Chris Mason CAN Goalie 4 4 0 1.00 .964 1

ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis Blues will have five players representing their respective countries in the 2009 World Championship in Switzerland. David Backes and T.J. Oshie will play for the United States, Chris Mason will play for Canada, Patrik Berglund will play for Sweden and Roman Polak will play for the Czech Republic.

Backes, 24, was named the NHL's Third Star of the Week for the week ending April 5 after leading all NHL goal-scorers with five and added one assist. He turned in one of the top single-game performances by an NHL player this season, notching four goals, the 6th time in Blues history for a player to record four goals in a single game, in a 5-4 victory on April 2 at Detroit. Backes scored his 30th goal of the season on April 2 at Detroit, becoming the 5th Blue in history to register 30 goals and 150-plus penalty minutes in a season and was the only player in the NHL to accomplish that feat this season. He finished second on the team in points (54), goals (31) and shots (208) and ranked 8th with 23 assists, all career-highs and was one of four Blues to play in all 82 games.

Oshie, 22, was named Rookie of the Month for March by recording 13 points (four goals, nine assists) and a +6 rating in 14 games. He tied for eighth among NHL rookies with 39 points, ranked sixth with 25 assists, tied for seventh with 12 power play points, ranked third with a plus-16 rating and tied for sixth with six power play goals.

Mason, 33, earned honors this season as the NHL’s Second Star of the Week for the week ending April 12, First Star of the Week for the week ending March 29, Third Star for the Month of February and Third Star for the Week ending Nov. 30. He set a career-high with 27 wins, tied a career-high with six shutouts and posted a five-game winning streak from March 20-29, the first Blues goalie to register a five-game win streak since Fred Brathwaite in the 2002-03 season.

From the All-Star Break until the end of the season, Mason tied for first among all NHL goaltenders with 22 wins. He started the last 33 consecutive games of the season and posted a 24-8-6 record in his last 38 games which included five shutouts, a .924 save percentage and a 2.08 goals against average.

Mason recorded his first shutout as a Blue on Nov. 25 at Nashville, stopping a career-high 47 shots along with 2 shootout attempts.

Berglund, 20, scored his 20th goal of the season on March 28 vs. Columbus, making him the 10th Blues rookie in franchise history to score 20-or-more goals. He led the team with a plus-19 rating, was second among all NHL rookies with 22 power play points (seven goals, 15 assists), ranked first with 15 power play assists, ranked second in the plus/minus category (+19), fifth in power play goals (7), fourth in points (47), tied for fifth with 21 goals and tied for fourth with 26 assists.

Polak, 23, played in a career-high 69 games for the Blues this season. He blocked a shot in 53 of his 69 games and notched a career-high three-game point streak from Jan. 3-11, collecting three points (0g, 3a) over the span. Polak registered a career-high 30:52 of ice time on Jan. 2 at Carolina and scored his first career NHL goal, a game-winner on Dec. 20 vs. Minnesota.

The 2009 International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship will take place in Berne and Zurich-Kloten, Switzerland, April 24-May 10.

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