Talking Points: Backes leads the way, Bruins annihilate Coyotes


GOLD STAR: David Backes had his most impressive game in quite some time with a big offensive outburst in the second period when he scored his first two goals of the season. On the first goal Backes beat out a couple of Arizona defenders in front of the net to tip home a Riley Nash bid from the outside, and on the second goal Backes stripped Alex Goligoski of the puck on the fore-check and then snapped a shot past goalie Kyle Wedgewood. In all, Backes finished with two goals, a plus-3 rating, four shots on net, and four takeaways in 17:23 of ice time. It was clear very early on that Backes is playing at 100% and his energy is back. His efforts helped the team overpower the Coyotes in the second period.

BLACK EYE: Clayton Keller came into this matchup as the odds-on favorite to win the Calder Trophy, but he has cooled off tremendously after a torrid start to the season. Keller has now gone 16 games without a goal, and finished Wednesday night’s game with a minus-2 rating and just a single shot on net in 15:01 of ice time. He was a complete non-factor in the game, and it looks like the physical pounding of the NHL grind is beginning to wear on the small forward. This is why I said that people need to hold their horses for a bit before crowing the former BU standout as the rookie of the year just a month into the season. Keller is also now a minus-19 for the season. The last time I checked that is not every good.

TURNING POINT: The Bruins were pretty mediocre for about 30 minutes after scoring just 15 seconds into the game, but the third line of Danton Heinen, Riley Nash and David Backes sparked the B’s with a pair of goals in the second half of the second period. That kick-started a final 30 minutes to the game where the Bruins built a lead against a Coyotes team without fight. The Black and Gold started to blow the doors off of Arizona in the second period behind two goals scored by David Backes.

HONORABLE MENTION: David Krejci had one of his better games since returning from injury, and finished with a goal and two points in 15:40 of ice time. His power play goal during 5-on-3 play in the third period was a thing of beauty. Krejci also won 11-of-16 faceoffs, while beginning to redevelop some chemistry with Jake DeBrusk and Anders Bjork throughout the game.  The final give-and-go with Bjork at the end of the third period showed off the same early season chemistry that Krejci had with the two young wingers. That should give the three forwards some encouragement to keep building foward as a healthy B’s roster finally forms an identity.

BY THE NUMBERS: 6 – the game-high number of shots on net for Riley Nash. He racked up a pair of assists, and six points in his last six games while picking up his offensive pace.   

QUOTE TO NOTE: “We show it in spurts. You know if we can consistently put that together game after game then we will be a good team and be tough to play against every night." –Brad Marchand, who likes what he sees as the Bruins get hot and win seven of their last nine.


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