Talking Points: Backes shows character, toughness
David Backes didn’t have the gaudiest statistical night, and he’ll most probably feel like a truck ran over him when he wakes up on Thursday morning. But the 32-year-old forward pumped up his Bruins teammates when he returned in the second period vs. the Flames after catching a rut in the ice and crashed awkwardly into the boards. He needed help getting off the ice and wasn’t putting any weight on his left leg, so it looked pretty bad for Backes. But he ended up coming back in the middle period and then he scored the game-winner in the second on a top corner shot from a cross-ice David Krejci pass. Backes finished with three shots on net and a goal in 11:44 of ice time, and showed his character and toughness in large amounts when he jumped right back into the fray in the second period.
The Dennis Wideman-Matt Bartkowski defensemen pairing for the Calgary Flames also goes by the nickname “Claude Julien Nightmare Fuel”, and they showed why on Wednesday night while combining for a minus-6 rating in the game. Bartkowski was actually pretty active in suiting up against his old Bruins team while Wideman finished with an invisible shot on net and a giveaway in 16:24 of ice time while doing a lot of watching while the Bruins scored. Clearly Chad Johnson wasn’t much to write home about between the pipes for the Flames in this one, but he wasn’t getting much help from the D-men directly in front of him throughout the night. It’s tough to see the Wideman-Bartkowski combo making it long term in Calgary.
The Bruins were okay in the first period and nearly perfect in the third period, but it was the second period where the B’s won the game while out-shooting the Flames by a 16-7 margin. Between Brad Marchand attacking the net to score on a Colin Miller dump-in attempt and David Backes playing the returning hero’s role with a game-winner after looking injured in the first period, the B’s showed plenty to gather energy and momentum that would carry them over the top. They even had enough to overcome Anton Khudobin somehow allowing Dougie Hamilton to score on a wrist shot from beyond the blue line, which is fairly embarrassing stuff for an NHL goaltender.
David Pastrnak gives the Bruins two 30-goal scorers after striking for a pair of goals in Wednesday night’s win over the Flames. The first score was a first period goal with Pastrnak simply beating Chad Johnson off the right wing rush, and flipped a puck through Johnson’s five-hole as he glided through the offensive zone. The second was a long-distance empty netter in the third period to ice the game, and make Pastrnak the third youngest 30-goal scorer in Bruins history with only Barry Pederson and Patrice Bergeron doing it at the same age or younger. Pastrnak finished with the two goals, five shots on net, nine shot attempts and a plus-1 rating in 20:31 of ice time. He and Brad Marchand have been a lethal 1-2 punch for the Black and Gold this season.
QUOTE TO NOTE
“Everyone is just dedicated to doing their jobs and we don’t have any weak links right now, which is awesome. It’s showing in our play. We’re winning big games and that’s what we need to continue to do.” – Brad Marchand to NESN following the 5-2 win over the Calgary Flames that made the B’s 2-for-2 on the road trip.