The Boston Bruins David Backes left Thursday’s game against the Buffalo Sabres with roughly five minutes left in the first period after taking a hit to the head from William Carrier. Carrier sent Backes head first into the boards, in front of the Sabres bench, and was given a minor penalty for the hit.
David Backes Out Indefinitely With A Concussion
The Bruins went on to win 4-2, after facing a 2-0 deficit at the end of the first. Backes was obviously without a point that game.
There is no timetable for Backes’ return, but he was diagnosed with a concussion. This isn’t his first of his NHL career either. He was diagnosed with one after taking a questionable hit from Brent Seabrook in the 2014 playoffs, and missed a few playoff games with the injury.
Backes was signed as a free agent this offseason after spending 10 seasons with the St. Louis Blues, five of those were spent as the captain of the Blues. He was originally drafted by them in the second round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.
Backes has been a reliable winger for the Bruins so far this season. He’s spent most of his time on left wing, with David Krejci and Ryan Spooner. In 33 games so far, he’s recorded 19 points, nine being goals. He’s also been as gritty as the typical Bruins player, with 31 penalty minutes so far.
Frank Vatrano is filling in for Backes, on the same line. So far this season, the 22-year old has four points in five games, as well as two goals in two AHL games. This will be a test for Vatrano, who has been a scratch most of the season. He hasn’t played a game where he’s had over 15 minutes of play, but he should expect to break that mark now that he’s on the second line and playing with two players that have been so important to the Bruins so far this year.
Considering Backes doesn’t have any set time for his return, it’ll be important for Vatrano to produce on this line in order to keep his spot in the lineup. If he does well, it’s possible that he remains in the lineup on the third or fourth line, even after Backes returns.