BOSTON (CBS) — On Thursday night, David Backes did the little things the Bruins have needed against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Because of that, he’ll be back in the lineup Saturday when the Bruins try to break a 2-2 series tie in Boston.
The 35-year-old veteran was re-inserted into Boston’s lineup Thursday night, and assisted on Sean Kuraly’s third period goal that upped the Bruins lead to 3-1 in their eventual 4-1 victory. He also brought some much-needed physicality to the matchup, despite taking an elbow to the jaw from Dean Kukan in the first period.
“I have not seen him, assume he’s feeling well,” Boston head coach Bruce Cassidy said of his veteran on Friday. “He finished the game, played hard. He should be good to go [Saturday]. I thought he did his job well.”
Backes saw just over 10 minutes of ice time on Thursday night, adding five hits and a shot on net to his assist. While Cassidy admitted the veteran will never be an 18-20 minute-a-night guy anymore, he went on to praise the impact that Backes makes, which doesn’t always show up on the stat sheet.
“I do believe he brings intangibles, that’s one thing David has,” he said. “David is more intangibles, physicality, some of the leadership skills that are a little bit behind the scenes, on the bench, and in the room that go unnoticed at times, but are still important.”
“He is a leader,” forward David Krejci said of his linemate. “You have different types of leaders and he’s the leader that likes to talk. He’s always there for you, in the room or on the bench. It was good to have him back [in Game 4].”
Before Thursday, Backes hadn’t played since Game 5 of Boston’s first-round series against the Maple Leafs. He has two assists and is a plus-2 in his five playoff games this season.