A last minute scratch on Saturday has many people worrying that Boston Bruins forward David Backes might have a more serious problem when they look back to a hit that Backes took a shoulder to the head in Thursday’s game against Edmonton from defenseman Matt Benning in the first shift of the game. He was checked for a concussion and cleared to return, but only skated 6:28 during the game.
While the 34-year-old participated in Saturday’s morning skate, there are many concerned that Backes, who has suffered numerous concussions over the course of his career, has another, according to Matt Porter of The Boston Globe. Head coach Bruce Cassidy said he was “absolutely” worried about Backes.
“We’ll list it as an upper-body injury,” Cassidy said. “I think we all saw the hit. You want to be cautious, first of all. This is a player’s health, that left at the end of last year with a concussion.”
- The Montreal Canadiens got a great game out of 18-year-old Jesperi Kotkaniemi despite losing to Ottawa Saturday. The third-overall pick in this year’s draft is starting to show his skills and while he only has three points in seven games so far, he is clearly making a positive impact on the Canadiens, according to The Athletic’s Marc Dumont (subscription required). Throw in the fact that Kotkaniemi has made fewer than a half dozen mistakes on the ice, Montreal has a big piece in place for the future.
- Another player receiving quite a bit of praise is Detroit Red Wings defenseman Dennis Cholowski. The 20-year-old has received a big opportunity with injuries to Mike Green, Niklas Kronwall, Jonathan Ericsson and Danny DeKeyser, and has taken advantage of it, according to Detroit Free Press’ Helene St. James. The 2016 first-round pick has shown off smooth skating and on-ice intelligence and has shown an offensive instinct, posting two goals and five point in six minutes. Dylan Larkin believes that Cholowski is a big piece to their future. “His head is always up and he’s always there to make passes and get it in the forwards’ hands,” Larkin said of Cholowski. “He reminds me a lot of Zach Werenski in that sense, where their posture with the puck is almost if you’re forechecking him, you don’t know what he is going to do because he’s got his head up and his feet are moving. It’s awesome having him back there.”