It doesn’t sound like new Bruins forward David Backes is very happy with Phil Kessel.
Kessel clearly appeared to be in disagreement with being kept off Team USA’s roster for the World Cup of Hockey going on this month, and dropped a little passive-aggressive tweet when the Americans fell to Team Canada on Wednesday night:
Just sitting around the house tonight w my dog. Felt like I should be doing something important, but couldn't put my finger on it.— Phil Kessel (@PKessel81) September 21, 2016
The loss eliminated Team USA -- built by management for grit and toughness over skill and offensive ability -- from advancing to the next round and completed a truly disappointing run.
Backes was aware of Kessel’s Tweet when asked about it by reporters in Toronto, and called it “distasteful” and “aggravating” to the players that became a lightning rod for criticism after a terribly disappointing performance.
Backes: "I understand there were hard feelings, but as a guy who stands by my teammates it’s a little distasteful & aggravating"— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) September 21, 2016
"I understand there were hard feelings, but as a guy who stands by my teammates it’s a little distasteful and aggravating,” said Backes, according to TSN reporter Mark Masters. "Those comments don’t get lost in the fray. Those comments will be remembered."
Clearly there was some surprise when Team USA initially picked players like Justin Abdelkader and Erik Johnson over skilled American players like Kessel and Kevin Shattenkirk, and it didn’t play out in the Americans' favor when they struggled to produce offense during the tournament. Now it sounds like there will be some carryover into the regular season between former Team USA teammates, and perhaps some extra fireworks this season between the Bruins and Penguins spurred on by athis World Cup of Hockey brouhaha.