BOSTON — Bruins forward David Backes returned to the lineup Saturday night after being the healthy scratch in Boston’s Game 1 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
In what turned out to be a physical game, Backes’ presence was extremely beneficial to the Bruins in their 4-1 win. Head coach Bruce Cassidy made that very clear when speaking postgame about the forward’s impact.
“He’s a leader. He does that (bring physicality),” Cassidy said when asked about Backes’ impact. “He’s been through these playoff battles, so he did his job and then some tonight, and we needed it. We were lacking it on Thursday. … I thought we corrected some of those things today, and the players executed much better, and a lot of that had to do with some of that physicality that Backes brought with us.”
Charlie Coyle notched the Bruins’ first goal of the night, which was assisted by Backes. The Weymouth, Mass., native was happy to have Backes back on his line.
“It was great, I was looking forward to it,” Coyle said. “Obviously a big guy. He’s a full package player who brings it all. He’s got the skill to go along with his big frame and big physical presence and he was a presence out there. So it was nice to play with a guy like that.”
It wasn’t just Coyle who pointed out Backes’ importance Saturday night. Chris Wagner and David Pastrnak also noted his impact after their win.
“I thought he hunted pucks great,” Wagner said. “He was physical and we expect that from him. Like you guys don’t see on the bench, he is a loud voice and I thought a lot of guys have echoed that but it’s true and we respect him a lot for that.”
“Obviously it was huge for us,” Pastrnak said about Backes’ impact. “Backs is a very physical player and he brought it tonight and was all over the ice and obviously it was huge for us in a big win.”
The Bruins certainly will need Backes’ presence for the remainder of this series, as it doesn’t seem like the physical nature is going away anytime soon.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images