David Backes was a healthy scratch for the first time in his playoff career Thursday night in the Boston Bruins’ 4-1 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs at TD Garden.
Backes had been scratched during the regular season, and found himself as the odd man out with Karson Kuhlman instead getting a shot. It remains to be seen whether the winger will be in the lineup for Game 2, and Backes noted he needs to be ready whether or not he’s called upon.
“I need to be ready when called upon, but not be a distraction or a negative impact,” he said after Friday’s practice, via the Bruins’ official Twitter account. “These guys are an awesome group of guys.”
Backes admitted it was “frustrating” being told he wouldn’t suit up for Game 1, but got over it quickly because he “wanted to be a supportive teammate.” He also was studying the Maple Leafs while he was watching from the ninth floor.
“I was more intently watching,” Backes said. “Trying to see what they’re doing on the face-off … things you can see from up there of ways if I do get a look that I can be effective or more effective.”
The 34-year-old skated on the third line Friday with Danton Heinen and Charlie Coyle. Kuhlman practiced on the second line in Jake DeBrusk’s absence. Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy indicated it was a maintenance day for DeBrusk.
While it’s unknown if Backes will sit for a second straight game, if he does get the nod, fans can be certain he’ll be more than ready to go.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images