With the Bruins readying for back-to-back games against the Penguins and Canadiens over the next few days, they aren’t expecting forward David Backes to play in either of the big Eastern Conference tilts. Backes suffered a suspected concussion that’s being called an “upper body injury” after a scary head-to-head collision with Scott Sabourin during Saturday night’s Boston win over the Ottawa Senators.
Sabourin had moved in on Backes near the sideboards for what appeared to be a standard, clean hit. But both forwards knocked heads, and Sabourin had to removed from the ice on a stretcher while a clearly upset Backes watched on before exiting the game for good.
The 27-year-old Sabourin was taken to a nearby hospital after being knocked out cold on his skates, but sent out a smiling picture on Instagram Sunday morning after clearly feeling a lot better.
The 35-year-old Backes was doing a little better this morning as well as he made into the Bruins practice facility for an early medical evaluation.
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Still, Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy termed him “doubtful” for the next couple of games and it would likely be at least a week the veteran winger would be out if it is indeed a concussion.
“[Backes] came in [on Sunday] morning to get checked out. [He’s] doing a little better than last night,” said Cassidy. “But we’ll probably get a better evaluation on him [on Monday]. He’s doubtful for the next couple of games. Brett Ritchie is out skating, so there might be some progress there. We’ll see how he’s feeling in the morning. We’ve got a few balls in the air if he’s ready to go and get back in there with [Charlie] Coyle, is Peter Cehlarik the best fit with [Sean] Kuraly and [Chris] Wagner?”
Backes joins Joakim Nordstrom (infection) and Par Lindholm (upper body) as injured B’s forwards currently on the shelf. But the potential return of Ritchie would prevent the Bruins from digging too deeply into their organizational depth chart, amidst the rash of forward injuries.
Backes has played in eight of the B’s first 13 games of the season, and has one assist along with a minus-1 rating while averaging 8:17 of ice time, largely playing on the fourth line.
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