BOSTON – They say that good deeds in hockey go rewarded, and David Backes was living proof of that on Thursday night.
One day after being a healthy scratch in the B’s loss to the Flyers in Philly on Wednesday night, it was Backes scoring a goal and aiding his Bruins team in taking down his old St. Louis Blues team by a 5-2 score at TD Garden. The 34-year-old re-entered the Bruins lineup on the fourth line with Chris Wagner and Sean Kuraly, and managed to scrap for a power play goal in the second period that tied up the game for the B’s before they could win it in the third.
It was a prototypical goal for Backes with the big power forward camping out in front of the net and then tipping a Zdeno Chara point blast past Jake Allen as he was getting pushed off his spot. It was exactly the kind of goal he’s scored a million times previously in his NHL career, and exactly the kind of offense he hopes to provide now that he’s back in the lineup.
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“It’s tumultuous but it tests your character and you see how you respond to it. I think I’ve taken the right route and those types of goals that I scored tonight are what I’m used to scoring, you know, a dozen a year,” said Backes, of his fifth goal of the season for the Bruins. “If I can get back to those places, we can get pucks to the net, and there’s a dozen of those going in and I can shoot a couple more in, you know, that’s kind of the place I want to be.
“It worked tonight. Is it going to work every night? Potentially not, but if I can get to those spots, we can get pucks there, you know, the law of averages is going to work on our side eventually.”
Certainly it was an otherwise quiet night from Backes with three shot attempts in 11:25 of ice time, but the goal-scoring play was a good lesson for the young B’s players in handling a healthy scratch like a professional. It was also proof that Backes can still help the Bruins even if his minutes are scaled back as a member of the fourth line in place of Noel Acciari, a spot that be his a great deal into the foreseeable future.
“His attitude about the whole situation has been incredible. You know, [Backes] is such a great leader in that sense and such a great player for this group. To come in, have the response he did and have a big goal to get us back in the game, you know, it’s great to see,” said Brad Marchand. “That’s what makes him such a great leader. You know the attitude that he has all the time. His response that he showed tonight, [it was] great to see.”
Certainly it was a bitter pill for a proud player like Backes to sit and watch his teammates lose in Philadelphia where he might have made a difference, so the B’s power forward made sure he was the difference in the win over the Blues. That’s the exact kind of leadership they were banking on when they signed Backes to his five year deal with the Bruins, and even in his struggles this season that’s exactly what they’re getting.
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