Surgery goes 'smoothly' for David Backes to remove portion of colon


Surgery goes 'smoothly' for David Backes to remove portion of colon

BOSTON -- In term of the best possible news for David Backes, it was good to hear surgery to remove a portion of his colon was successful. Backes needed the surgery in order to get rid of an infected portion of his digestive tract after he'd suffered from a couple of bouts of diverticulitis. 

The Boston Bruins used the word “smoothly” in relation to the success of Backes surgery, and now he begins the road to recovery over the next couple of months prior to a possible return right around New Year’s Day. Here’s the Bruins full statement on Backes after his surgery: 

David Backes underwent surgery today to remove a portion of his colon. The operation went smoothly and he has started his recovery.  

The loss of the hard-nosed, natural leader in Backes was a tough one both on and off the ice for the Black and Gold, but it’s also the loss of the very talkative, positive person in the Bruins dressing room that was a big help in bringing along the young kids. If the Bruins winger were to return after exactly eight weeks of rest and rehab, it would put the big forward back right around Dec. 28 against the Washington Capitals after sitting out the previous 26 games. 

“We lose another centerman and it’s tough. He’s a leader on the team and he plays in all situations. We lose another good soldier is the way I look at it,” said Bruce Cassidy. “Part of the intangibles is what we miss the most [with Backes]. He’s pretty good at getting us back on track and being an on-ice big brother for a lot of our young guys. As much as for what brings to the table with his play, it’s what he brings for the comfort level of his teammates that I’ll miss.”

Backes was placed on injured reserve earlier in the day on Thursday by the Bruins right around the time of his surgery, and now the work has begun for the 33-year-old to slowly rehab and work his way back into the physical, productive forward who's become a key factor over the last couple of years in Boston. 


Torey Krug has found his sweet groove


Torey Krug has found his sweet groove

After going scoreless in the first five games in the month of January, Torey Krug has jumped back into his offensive groove.

Krug has a goal and five points in his last three games, and fired home the game-winner in last weekend’s win over the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre amidst a three-point effort against the Habs. It’s been an interesting time of adjustment for Krug as he’s topped 20 minutes of ice time just once in eight games this month, and has at times not been out on the ice with the Patrice Bergeron line when they’re doing their thing.  

Krug has also been digging himself out from the minus-9 in the first month of the season after coming back from a fractured jaw, and the plus-7 this month finally has him in the positive plus/minus rating as well for the first time this season.

“He’s a guy that sees [Matt] Grzelcyk playing well, and he wants to be a part of it,” said Bruce Cassidy of Krug. “Some of it is that I think, in my experience with him and I haven’t had him forever, with Torey that he gets better as the year goes along. This year the injuries led to that with the broken jaw, so he had a little bit of a setback and was playing catch-up. Part of it now is that he’s getting more comfortable, and as the year goes on he’s getting better.”

Krug is still on pace for 13 goals and 51 points this season, so he’s right on time for normal offensive production while working with a different D-man partner in young Brandon Carlo this season. But mixing in a game like Saturday night when he’s got three points, a game-winning goal and a plus-3 rating is a clear sign that he’s playing some of his best hockey of the year.

“You play with [the Bergeron Line] and you’re pretty lucky…you’re probably going to have a lot more chances for, and not many chances against,” said Krug. “It’s nice because [defenses] are so focused on shutting those three guys down that the fourth ‘D’ can get in on the attack and make something out of nothing. We were able to do that [against Montreal].

“It’s one of things where you just keep going to work and getting better every day, you put your head down and don’t listen to anything. It all falls into place for you, and I’m just going to keep doing that.”

So many of Boston’s best players, both veteran and rookie, have been playing their best hockey during the Bruins two-month run toward the top of the standings. After the last handful of games for the offensive defenseman, you can add Krug to that long list of B’s players now operating at full tilt. 


Morning Skate: Carey Price struggled with chronic fatigue


Morning Skate: Carey Price struggled with chronic fatigue

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while happy to be done driving back and forth from Montreal for a little while. 


*Carey Price was reportedly suffering from chronic fatigue at the beginning of the season related to some vitamin deficiencies. That’s got to be re-assuring to an NHL hockey team when their $10 million a year goaltender is starting to complain about chronic fatigue in the very early stages of his gigantic contract. It makes any complaints about Tuukka Rask making $7 million a year to be child’s play in comparison. 


*It just keeps getting better with Isles rookie Mat Barzal as this weekend Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane was raving about him and the way he plays hockey. 


*Good for old friend Chris Kelly, who says that a gold medal for Team Canada at the Olympics would be a great capper to his hockey career. 


*In an amazing story, the Vegas Golden Knights just keeping better and more powerful in their inaugural seasons. Pro Hockey Talk has the details. 


*In an interesting twist and a harbinger of more changes to come for the organization it would appear, Paul Coffey was named as a skills coach within the Oilers organization. 


*For something completely different: Tom Brady getting in touch with some F-bombs prior to today’s game against the Jaguars.