ST. LOUIS - If David Backes skates to the wrong bench or takes a penalty and sits in the wrong penalty box, you could probably understand or even forgive him.
"If that happens, we'll laugh it off," Backes said. "I just want to make sure that I enjoy every second of this…I want to make sure I'm soaking it all in."
The former Blues captain returns to Scottrade Center for tonight's game against St. Louis (7 p.m., NBCSN, KMOX) for the first time since signing a five-year contract with the Boston Bruins last summer. Backes spent nearly decade with the Blues - five of which were as the team's captain - before signing with Boston as a free agent.
"There are a few times in your career where you get a special night, and tonight is going to be a special night for me, no question," Backes said. "I've got a lot of great memories here, I have my wife and daughter that flew in for the game and a lot of our friends will be sitting with them. I want to enjoy every second of it and not take anything for granted.
"At the end of the day, I'm going to try to do everything I can to help my team come out of here with two points - against a team I know is tough and has beat us once already."
Video: Backes expects emotional game vs. Blues
Backes ranks fifth on the Blues' all-time franchise games played list with 727 games, sixth in points (460) and fifth in penalty minutes (969). In 35 games with the Bruins this season, he has 11 goals and 10 assists (21 points). He has scored in back-to-back games entering tonight's contest against the Blues.
Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, who took over the captain's duties since Backes departure, says he's excited to see an old friend but knows he can't take it easy on him tonight.
"The way he plays, it's going to be business as usual (for us)," Pietrangelo said. "If we give him peace and respect, he's going to make us pay for it… especially me. There obviously will be a tribute, we all know the situation - but he plays the game hard so it'll be business as usual once that point comes.
"We're all excited," Pietrangelo added. "Everyone here is excited to see him play. But, he'll be the first to tell you he has a new team to worry about. He has a job to do and I'm sure he will."
"Some people are good players, and there's good people. David's good people," added Blues Head Coach Ken Hitchcock. "He was great in the community, great on the ice, great as a leader. He did a lot of things that sure made by job a lot easier… I'm sure he's going to get a big ovation. He deserves it. He was a good player for a long time here."