We welcomed our new addition this morning at 1:12am. Dawson Michael Backes. 8 lbs 9 oz. Mom is an absolute warrior and I have never been more proud of someone. By far the toughest in the family. pic.twitter.com/s4fkkb0Lpg— David Backes (@dbackes42) December 23, 2017
BOSTON, Mass – There was no question in the mind of David Backes that he was going to play hockey on Saturday afternoon for the Bruins roughly 12 hours after his wife gave birth to an eight-pound, nine-ounce baby boy named Dawson. The 33-year-old sent out a tweet giving major props to his wife for being “an absolute warrior” after the birth of their second child, and then Backes went out and notched a couple of assists using his dad strength in a 3-1 win for the Bruins over the Detroit Red Wings at TD Garden.
“I got about four hours two nights ago and about three hours last night. After what I saw my wife go through birthing that baby, I figured I could come on a few hours of sleep earlier today and get it done,” said a sleep-deprived Backes, who didn’t look any worse for the wear. “So [it was] quite a 24 hours for us here, and good little family time for the holidays. Looking forward to [the holiday break] and two points in a game here, another great win by our team. It’s been a good stretch and we are going to enjoy the holidays.
“You’ll have to ask my wife how well I did [during the labor] but I felt like I was involved and trying to help her through contractions, and [we got] a healthy baby boy out of the deal. I couldn’t be happier. [It was] a very proud moment for us.”
Backes clearly had moments where he looked a little weary on the ice, and the right winger finished with no shots on net and just one hit on the score sheet. But it was Backes and Patrice Bergeron that did a great job rotating positions on the 5-on-3 PP in the first period, and that set Backes up for a dish from below the goal line to Brad Marchand waiting to roof the puck over Jimmy Howard.
Marchand grabbed the puck from the first goal as a keepsake for Backes on the day his son was born, but No. 42 wasn’t done being a proud, productive dad.
Backes was in again in the final minutes skating with Bergeron and Marchand while protecting a one goal lead in the third period, and this time the veteran forward picked up an assist on Bergeron’s empty netter to secure the game. It was remarkable to see Backes play so well given what was going on over the last couple of days, but it’s also something not to be underestimated from a team standpoint. When guys like Backes, hours after his child was born, and Marchand, needing IVs before Thursday’s game because he was so sick from the flu, suit up and play for the Bruins under trying circumstances, it sends a message of toughness and perseverance up and down the roster.
That kind of thing will do nothing but good things team-wide, and is a fine example of the team’s best players showing dedication to the team goals.
“He was great…inspirational on the bench and big smile on his face coming in today, and why not? A nice, healthy baby boy and everyone is doing well, so we’re all happy for him,” said Bruce Cassidy. “He was really dialed in. These are the type of games – the lower scoring, more grind it out type of games – where he really excels, and that is where we need him.”
Now Backes and the rest of the Bruins get a hard-earned three days of rest, and the Backes family gets the best present of them all with a new baby boy at home.