David Backes is entering his 11th NHL season and is ready to make it count.
The Bruins forward didn’t exactly have the best 2018-19 campaign, notching just seven goals and 13 assists in 70 games for Boston. Backes played in just 15 playoff games and was scratched for Games 5, 6 and 7 of the Stanley Cup Final against his former St. Louis Blues team.
Team president Cam Neely noted this was a “very important” offseason for the veteran, while Backes plans to give it “everything I’ve got” in 2019-20. With Par Lindholm, Brett Ritchie and Karson Kuhlman all eyeing roster spots with the Black and Gold to begin the year, there’s no telling exactly what role Backes will play.
One thing’s for certain, though, he’s “channeled some” frustration from last season as motivation.
“(The offseason workout program) was as intense as it’s ever been. I’m looking forward to going out there and playing hockey this year,” Backes said, via NBC Sports Boston’s Joe Haggerty “I channeled some of (last season’s frustration), I festered some of it away and let it motivate me and I can focus some on what I can do as an athlete having a great summer so I can do what I do best, which is to play the game.”
He added he’s not worried about what’s not in his control.
“I don’t worry about other decisions that I don’t get to make and that are out of my control. What’s in my control is each shift, each play and each moment,” Backes said. “That’s what I’m going to focus on all year. That moment and that drill will be my focus, and decisions out of my control will be made. It’s balls to the wall starting with the first drill of practice and I’m going to give it everything I’ve got until they tell that I’m done playing. That’s the way I’ve always been.”
Boston wrapped up Day 2 of training camp Saturday, and will open its season on the road in Dallas against the Stars on Oct. 3.
Thumbnail photo via Billy Hurst/USA TODAY Sports Images