The NHL’s decision to suspend David Backes three games for his hit on Detroit Red Wings center Frans Nielsen has sparked a huge debate among Boston Bruins fans.
Some have said the punishment fit the crime, while others believe the league was too hard on a player with no supplemental discipline history during his 12-year career.
But what does Backes think?
“I think first and foremost, the fact that Frans Nielsen’s hurt sucks,” Backes said Thursday ahead of the Bruins’ game against the Philadelphia Flyers. “I wasn’t intending to hurt him, I hope he has a quick and full recovery and gets back on the ice soon. I think that’s certainly an unintended consequence to the play.
“I think the play’s kind of an awkward, one-off play where he’s coming back in the zone, receiving a puck. Then he sees me coming and I’m going to finish a hit, and trying to get around him, and by the end trying to abort the whole thing altogether.
” … But the decision’s the decision. That’s the way that the process is currently in the collective bargaining agreement.”
Backes’ hit occurred Tuesday during Boston’s 6-5 overtime win over the Red Wings at TD Garden. Nielsen reportedly is expected to miss some time, though the Red Wings haven’t specified the nature of his injury.
The Bruins will turn to their improved depth during Backes’ absence. The B’s already are without the services of center Patrice Bergeron and defenseman Charlie McAvoy, who currently are sidelined with a fractured foot and an MCL sprain, respectively.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images