Boston Bruins: David Backes finally paying off at important time

COLUMBUS, OH - MAY 6: Boston Bruins right wing David Backes (42) celebrates his goal with teammates David Krejci (46) and Jake DeBrusk (74, left behind Backes) during the third period. The Columbus Blue Jackets host the Boston Bruins in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinals at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, OH on May 6, 2019. (Photo by Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - MAY 6: Boston Bruins right wing David Backes (42) celebrates his goal with teammates David Krejci (46) and Jake DeBrusk (74, left behind Backes) during the third period. The Columbus Blue Jackets host the Boston Bruins in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinals at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, OH on May 6, 2019. (Photo by Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images) /
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When the Boston Bruins acquired David Backes via free agency in 2016, many questioned this move by the General manager Don Sweeney.

Serving as a captain of the St. Louis Blues from 2011 to 2016, the Boston Bruins were getting a veteran leader in David Backes. But the five-year contract worth 6 million per season wasn’t something ideal for a back then 32-year-old forward.

His start in Boston was quite impressive. In his very first game with the Bruins, Backes centered the top line with Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak as Patrice Bergeron wasn’t available that night. The Boston Bruins played at Nationwide Arena against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Backes was thrilling with big two goals and an assist for three points.

One of the reasons the Bruins fans ended up disappointed with Backes was that this has been his best performance for the B’s so far. His 38 points in the 2016-2017 season followed by 33 points and by 20 points in the present season aren’t something impressive.

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The best offensive days are definitely behind David Backes. But he has found a very effective way how to help the Boston Bruins.

In the past regular season, Backes has played in 70 games collecting 20 points. In those other games, he ended up as a healthy scratch. Likewise, headed into the playoffs, Backes was a healthy scratch for Game 1 against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round.

He has never been a healthy scratch in the playoffs before. His team hasn´t missed the playoffs since 2012. However, his experience wasn’t good enough. The Boston Bruins lost that game and head coach Bruce Cassidy decided that he has to make his lineup a little bit more physical. That´s why he inserted David Backes to the lineup.

In his first few shifts in Game 2 at TD Garden, he rocked some hits and found Charlie Coyle to open the score for the Bruins in a successful outing. Backes played another three games, this time without any points.

After their Game 5 loss and facing elimination, Bruce Cassidy decided to scratch David Backes, again.

That move was reasonable as the Boston Bruins won Game 6 in Toronto and then won Game 7, without the assistance of Backes. The veteran forward was scratched again when the Bruins started their second-round series versus the Columbus Blue Jackets.

After the Game 3 loss and trailing the series 2-1, Bruce Cassidy turned to Backes again. It was so poetic for Backes to make his comeback after five straight games in the press box at the place, where he made such a terrific debut with the Bruins.

In Game 4, the Bruins won and Backes had an assist on Sean Kuraly´s goal to make it 3-1 in the third period. In Game 5, Backes had another assist. During Game 6, Backes scored his first playoff goal to close out the game and the series for the B’s.

After all that, David Backes has recorded a three-game point streak in the second-round series. His four points in seven playoff games this season don´t look as bad now.

Finally, David Backes shows why he is rightfully there. He also wants to show why he is worth that big amount of money.

If the Boston Bruins win the Stanley Cup, Backes will be one of the turning points on that potential Cup run. And if this is already a Cup run for Boston, Backes has contributed big-time.

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Is there something more to come for David Backes, the 35-year-old veteran still waiting for his first Stanley Cup? He has shown both the patience and his perseverance to be there and help out the Bruins.