Regardless of the effort and grit David Backes brings to the table, he'll continue to be measured by the annual $6 million cap hit he carries through the 2020-21 season. At 6-foot-3, 221-pounds, the 33-year-old still brings a power forward skill set to the table, but it's notable that the 0.51 points per game he averaged in his first season with Boston was his lowest mark since 2007-08 (0.43), his first full season in the NHL. Now in the second year of his lucrative deal, the Bruins are looking for more than the 17 goals and 38 points that Backes delivered over 74 contests last season. His 30-goal days may be in the rearview mirror, but Backes can still deliver a degree of fantasy utility in deeper leagues as well as in formats where his PIM (69 last season) and hits (226) count.
Backes recorded an assist and dished out three hits Tuesday in a preseason game against the Red Wings. Backes logged 17:16 of ice time while contributing on both the power play and the penalty kill. The 33-year-old winger will be battling for a top-six role, but he's starting to regress after posting his first non-lockout season under 40 points since the 2007-08 campaign. Backes is likely to line up as one of the better bottom-six forwards in the league, and a point total hovering around 40 should again be expected from him.
Backes scored a goal on his only shot on net and recorded a minor penalty and four hits over 15:16 of ice time during Monday's Game 3 loss to Ottawa. The playoff veteran also picked up an assist in Game 2, so he's provided valuable secondary scoring for Boston. Backes is locked into a top-six role and is receiving power-play time with the No. 2 unit, but he shouldn't be confused with a go-to scorer at this stage of his career, especially after he posted his worst offensive season since the 2007-08 campaign.
Backes opened the scoring in Monday's 4-2 loss against the Maple Leafs. Backes has struggled to get situated in Beantown. While 16 goals isn't a terrible total, he is still on track to post the worst shooting percentage of his NHL career. He is starting to show some signs of life lately, scoring three goals with an assist over his past four games. Backes remains a solid fantasy play as long as he is slotted on a line with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand.
Backes (illness) is on the ice for pregame warmups and appears set to play Monday against the Maple Leafs. The veteran was held out of Monday's morning skate with the ailment but appears good to go for the evening's contest against division rival Toronto. He took line rushes in his usual spot on the top line with Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron.
Coach Bruce Cassidy relayed that Backes is "a little under the weather" and is thus a game-time decision for Monday's game against the Maple Leafs, CSN's Joe Haggerty reports. That said, Cassidy expects the veteran power forward to play Monday night and it's important to note that Backes' absence from the team's morning skate is evidently not a residual effect from the knee/leg issue that forced him out of this past Wednesday's game against the Flames for a spell.
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