On the first day of NHL Free Agency, July 1st, the Boston Bruins made one of the premier free agent signings across the league by bringing in David Backes, the former captain of the St. Louis Blues. A move the Bruins made to bring in leadership, grit, and toughness, and in his first game in the Black and Gold, he delivered on all fronts. Just minutes into the game on his 2nd shift he started a scrum in front of the Columbus Blue Jackets goal and got the Bruins to respond. With Patrice Bergeron out of the season opener with an ankle injury, Backes skated alongside Brad Marchand who is coming off a 37 goal season, being the hero of the World Cup and getting a huge contract extension. The two looked like they had played together for 15 years, they always knew where the other was and hit each other with beautiful pass after beautiful pass. Those two along with linemate David Pastrnak scored all six goals for the Bruins in their opening night 6-3 win in Columbus.
What I really mean by Backes made his impact felt, is on two occasions the Bruins trailed in that game by two goals. Tuukka Rask let in a horrendous goal on the Blue Jackets first goal of the night off the stick of Alexander Wennberg, then minutes later Cam Atkinson made it 2-0. The Bruins of the last two years totally shrink, wilt and just play out the string the rest of the night. After Pastrnak made it 2-1, Seth Jones made it 3-1 that first line of Pastrnak-Backes-Marchand then scored five unanswered goals. The Bruins pretty much swapped out Loui Eriksson for Backes you could argue Eriksson is more talented, by I’ll take Backes over him every day of the week. It’s just one game, but I feel the Bruins made a good move here that can impact them for years to come.