Boston Bruins David Backes: Fighting For His Team

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Boston Bruins David Backes
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - MARCH 05: David Backes #42 of the Boston Bruins and Micheal Ferland #79 of the Carolina Hurricanes fight during the first period at TD Garden on March 05, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Boston Bruins David Backes had participated in 52 games this season for the Bruins and had only 15 minutes of penalties. Then, in three of his last five games, he has had five-minute fighting infractions. What’s gotten into him?

Boston Bruins David Backes Fighting?

Let’s See What’s Going on

When David Backes first faced his former St. Louis Blues team after signing as a free agent with the Bruins, he dropped the gloves with former teammate Joel Edmundson back on Jan. 10, 2017.

Backes fought in retaliation for a hit on Bruins’ teammate David Krejci by Jori Lehtera and received an instigator and a 10-minute misconduct in addition to his fighting penalty.

I felt like they were trying to get the game back by trying to intimidate us and hitting us all over the place and I don’t think it really matters how it happens,” Backes said. “It’s kind of, we’ve got to put an end to this, so I tried to put an end to it.”

Then, recently on Feb. 26th and 28th Backes got into it again fighting Adam Erne (Tampa Bay Lightning) and Micheal Haley (San Jose Sharks). He then followed that up on March 5th with more fisticuffs. This time involving Micheal Ferland against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Of the three fights, this one featuring Backes and Erne seemed to be the most entertaining.

Is this the same David Backes we’ve known all these 13 years in the NHL? He actually has been behaving quite well this season with only 25 penalty minutes. His career total is something quite different.

He ranks 5th in the NHL with 1,116 career penalty minutes. So, see he’s not a stranger when things get out of hand and he needs to show muscle. At 6’3″, 215lbs he can take care of himself and his teammates.

His Comments

David Backes came out and said that he talked to his head coach. The two agreed that Backes could find ways to help elsewhere than scoring. That is partially where the increase in fights has come from.

Backes also mentioned he is not worried about another concussion. Something he has had more than one of. So, Backes clearly seems to be buying into this team and his role.

So Is He a True Enforcer?

Maybe not in the true sense of the word. At least not comparable to the ‘old days’ when teams enlisted a tough guy as almost a personal bodyguard to protect team stars.

Remember Dave Semenko? His primary function was to keep goons from other teams from hurting Wayne Gretzky. Still and all, Backes is not anyone to back down from a fight. He can battle with the best of them, and he’s no small guy who can be thrown around. He will defend his team and fight for his team if that’s what it takes.

Keeping in mind he may have mellowed a bit this year due to his upcoming 35th birthday, he still is a wry competitor who knows how to handle a fight. So, don’t call him an enforcer, call him an embattled veteran who you really don’t want to mess with in heated displays emphasizing lack of emotional intelligence.

Many players who have challenged him have paid the price, and have the stitches to show for it. David Backes is one tough customer.

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