Blues' captain David Backes and Canucks' two-way backbone Ryan Kesler have had their share of battles in recent year.

Blues' captain David Backes and Canucks' two-way backbone Ryan Kesler have had their share of battles in recent year.

Preview: Vancouver Canucks take on Blues, Backes in St. Louis

Can Vancouver spoil St. Louis's sports buzz, or will David Backes and the Blues thump a road-weary Canucks?

The Vancouver Canucks continue their early-season travelling roadshow on Friday, when they travel to Missouri to face the St. Louis Blues – a tough, quick Western team that has evolved into one of the more imposing clubs in the NHL since 2011.

The Blues are led by captain David Backes and a slew of sizable forwards, while the Canucks counter with a top line of the Sedin twins and Ryan Kesler.

Vancouver has survived an excessive amount of overtime games to climb to a 7-4-1 record, good enough for second in the NHL’s Pacific Division, although they’ve also played the most games in the Western Conference.

The Blues have only played seven games and are 5-1-1, with their only loss coming to the San Jose Sharks.

Tonight’s game could take a number of directions: it could be a fast, physical affair, or it could be a defensive deadlock.

Either way, have your volume up, because the Canucks love to give Backes a piece of their mind, and he doesn’t mind responding: