David Backes destroyed Sammy Blais with bone-crunching hit, further solidifying himself as one of Bruins leaders

Alex Reimer
May 30, 2019 - 10:13 am

The most consequential hit in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final Wednesday was when Blues center Oskar Sundqvist smashed Matt Grzelcyk into the boards in the first period, sending the young defenseman to the hospital for further tests. The Bruins were forced to play with five defensemen for the rest of the night, and yet, still managed to last until overtime, where St. Louis’ Carl Gunnarsson smacked the game-winner for the 3-2 victory at the Garden. 

Though the series is still young, there’s clear animosity between the Bruins and Blues. Torey Krug’s helmet-less hit on Robert Thomas in Game 1 ignited the bad blood, and Sundqvist’s shot on Grzelcyk enflamed the tensions. But the Bruins responded in kind Wednesday, matching the Blues hit-for-hit. And ex-Blues captain David Backes has been leading the Black and Gold's charge. 

Backes, who was on the receiving end of an elbow from Blues goalie Jordan Binnington in Game 1, absolutely leveled Sammy Blais in the second period. The hit sent Blais flying off his skates, and his back crunching against the ice.

After the game, Backes also stood up for Grzelcyk, saying he thinks Sundqvist should be disciplined for the headshot. He only received a two-minute minor, just like Charlie McAvoy when he leveled the Blue Jackets’ Josh Anderson in Game 6 of the semifinals. (McAvoy wound up being suspended for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals.)

"I don’t think that’s a hit we want in our game,” Backes told reporters, including WEEI’s Scott McLaughlin. “I think it’s from behind, elevated into his head, into the glass. If that’s a two-minute penalty, there’s going to be a shortage of defensemen I think in this series by the end of it. But that’s in somebody else’s hands. That’s something I think if I’m making that hit, I’m probably watching from the bleachers for a few. But we’ll see what happens with their player.”

While Backes spent 10 years with the Blues, it’s apparent he’s not conflicted in this series. The veteran forward may not offer much in terms of goal scoring ability anymore, but his intangibles are valuable. 

And, he can still send opposing players flying off their skates. Not too shabby.