David Backes got hit with a match penalty and ejection for a hit from behind on the Panthers’ Vincent Trocheck in the Bruins’ 3-0 loss on Thursday. And it appears that the Bruins forward will not be disciplined beyond that.
Sources indicate to NBC Sports Boston’s Joe Haggerty that Backes will “likely” avoid supplemental discipline for the hit, which warranted an automatic review due to Backes’ match penalty. The term refers to an ejection for players who injure or attempt to injure opponents. However, Trocheck popped back up after the hit and appears to have avoided injury from the hit.
UPDATE: Watch the hit below and judge for yourself. But the more you watch it, the more you’ll realize how excessive the initial penalty was for Backes.
It’s a colossal stretch to categorize Backes’ hit as intent to injure. It’s the kind of contact that NHL games need to allow for, to a certain extent, without taking an ominous step toward bastardizing the game. Trocheck didn’t even get hurt and there appears to be minimal, if any, contact with his head.
So at the end of the day, the league is doing the right thing if it spares Backes of another suspension. NHL rules dictate that Backes is automatically suspended from further competition due to the match penalty, but officials can rescind the original call from the game.
Still, recent penalties levied against Backes have unfortunately suggested that the league is over-legislating hard hits in general. And sapping an inherently physical sport of its physicality.
“I Hope That I Can Have My Old League Back”
Backes, in particular, thrives when he’s physical. So he’s as concerned as anyone about the direction the league is taking.
“I had two periods to think about it, and it’s the kind of hit that I’ve been doing for years,” said Backes. “So if this is kind of the new NHL, the new standard, then I hope that I can have my old league back.
“If I try to get into a toe drag competition with guys like Trocheck then I’m going to lose, so the physical part of the game, I think, still needs to be there.”
Backes couldn’t avoid his first suspension, an excessive three-game ban for a hit on the Red Wings’ Frans Nielsen. But apparently, he will not be getting a second – nor should he.
— By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at email@example.com.