Midway through the second period of today’s critical Game 5 between the Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning, veteran Bruins forward David Backes got absolutely ROCKED by Lightning forward J.T. Miller when he attempted to dump the puck deep into the Lightning’s defensive zone.
Backes picked the puck up in the neutral zone and attempted to chip the puck by Miller when he was lined up and dropped like yesterday’s trash.
Check it out:
Ouch. The way that Backes falls back... that's hard to watch. While it's clear that Backes has to keep his head up and expect a hit on that part of the ice, it appears as if Miller's head makes contact with Backes'. So, again while it's not a particularly predatory hit, the result is ugly.
Big collision with JT Miller and David Backes after he released the puck, and it leaves Backes down on the ice grabbing at his head. He's down for a long time with a group of players & trainers around him. Being helped off the ice. Not good.
No, not good. Not good at all. Especially for a guy like Backes who has a history of head injuries.
To make matters even worse, it was Miller who would give the Lightning a 2-1 lead on his following shift.
Double ouch. You have to feel for Bruins fans after that one…
You can make a very good argument that Miller should have been in the box for that hit on Backes. Instead, he’s on the ice scoring the go-ahead goal in an elimination game. But hey… it wouldn’t be Bruins hockey without some controversial officiating, right?
Backes laid motionless on the ice for several minutes before moving, leading fans, the media and his teammates to believe that there was something catastrophically wrong with either his head or his spinal column. Eventually however, Backes was helped to his knees from the Bruins' training staff and then eventually he was helped off the ice and into the Bruins' locker room by teammates. Again, regardless of whether or not you're a Bruins fan, you have to really feel for a veteran like Backes. He plays the game tough and never takes a night off. Here's hoping he makes a full recovery from this devastating hit.