Although the St. Louis Blues are off to a good start, they’re currently in second place in the Western they possess an 11-6-3 record, there’s no doubt that they miss the physical presence and leadership of their former captain, David Backes. Before signing with the Boston Bruins at the beginning of this season, gritty forward Backes had spent his entire 10-year NHL career with the Blues, the last four years as their captain. Backes, who had 206 goals and 460 points in 727 games, signed a five-year, $30 million contract with Boston this June. Tuesday’s bout between the Bruins and St. Louis was the first time Backes was facing his old team.
“A little weird at first but you realize you’re wearing different jerseys and you’re playing for keeps. You get a couple bumps and I wish, I think the whole team [wishes], that we had a different outcome tonight,” said Backes about facing his old team for the first time.
In poetic fashion, Backes scored the game’s first goal when he banged in a rebound off of his own tip-in attempt past Blues goaltender Jake Allen. The power play goal was the 20,000 goal scored in Bruins’ history. Backes led all Bruins players with 6 shots on net.
Blues forward Paul Stastny on giving up a goal to former teammate Backes, “Yeah I think if you ask the family or people outside the situation, you are happy for him, he gets his goal. As a team we are happy because you know we got our two points and now we look forward to tomorrow.”
Unfortunately for the Bruins, Backes’ goal was not enough to net them the win. During a shaky second period, which saw the departure of Bruins captain Zdeno Chara to an unknown injury, the Bruins allowed 3 goals. The Blues would add an empty net goal late in the third period to win by a score of 4-2 and earn their fourth straight win. The Bruins were not without chances, forcing Allen to make 39 saves.
I just think that in the second period with five [defensemen] we got caught in our own end at times for long periods of time,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “And then we had some guys that were out there tired and some of those guys are obviously [defensemen]. So it cost us a few goals there.”
The Bruins next game will be a Thanksgiving night faceoff against the Ottawa Senators.